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A flashy offensive defenceman who takes advantage of opportunities and is always looking to make an impact each shift. Works very hard and isn't afraid to play the body. Skates with exceptional exuberance and fluidity. Accurate release on his shot and a good eye for open passing lanes. Proactive defensively and puts the pressure on the opposition. Needs to have a more active stick and a more felt presence in shooting lanes, but he has shown a willingness to learn, and these skills will develop. All-in-all, an exciting offensive defenceman who displays noteworthy offensive and defensive instincts. (Curtis Joe, EP 2015)
Brother: Jérémy Girard
|2011-12||Lac-St-Jean Espoirs Bantam AA||LHDAAQ||20||1||9||10||6|||||Playoffs||5||0||3||3||0|
|2012-13||Lac-St-Jean Espoirs Bantam AA||LHDAAQ||19||7||22||29||18|||||Playoffs||5||2||5||7||2|
|Saguenay Midget Espoir||QMEAA||4||0||3||3||0|||||-|
|Canada Black U17||WHC-17||5||1||2||3||0|||||-|
|2010-11||Lac-St-Jean Espoirs||QC Int PW||2||0||0||0||2|||||-|
|2013-14||Team Québec White||QGC-16||5||2||2||4||2|||||-|
|Canada U18||Hlinka Gretzky Cup||4||1||0||1||0||4|||||-|
|QMJHL All-Stars||Jr Super Series||2||0||3||3||0||-2|||||-|
|2016-17||QMJHL All-Stars||Jr Super Series||2||0||1||1||0||3|||||-|
|Hlinka Gretzky Cup||1||4||1||0||1||0.25||0||4|||||0|
|Jr Super Series||2||4||0||4||4||1.00||0||1|||||0|
|QC Int PW||1||2||0||0||0||0.00||2||0|||||0|
|07/31/2019||Extension||Colorado Avalanche||Colorado Avalanche|
|11/06/2017||Confirmed||Nashville Predators||Colorado Avalanche|
|09/28/2016||Confirmed||Shawinigan Cataractes||Nashville Predators|
Drafted 2014, 1 #3 overall by Shawinigan Cataractes in the QMJHL Entry Draft
2016 NHL Entry Draft: Ranked #70 by HOCKEYPROSPECT.COM
2016 NHL Entry Draft: Ranked #27 by FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS
2016 NHL Entry Draft: Ranked #46 by ISS HOCKEY
2016 NHL Entry Draft: Ranked #59 by MCKEEN'S HOCKEY
2016 NHL Entry Draft: Ranked #38 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters
2016 NHL Entry Draft: Ranked #45 by TSN/McKenzie
Defensemen are getting smaller and faster in today’s game, and Girard fits that bill perfectly. Listed at 5’10” and 161 lbs, he has never had the luxury of relying on a big frame or a long range to play effective defense. He is an excellent skater, and even though he is much more of an offensively driven player, he has also been touted for remaining responsible in his own end and dictating play from both sides of the puck.
Girard is from Roberval, Quebec, one of many small lake towns on Lac Saint-Jean, about 400 kilometres north of Montreal. He played his AA Bantam hockey for the local Lac-St-Jean Espoirs, and his Midget AAA hockey for the Jonquière Élites in the neighbouring county. Girard displayed immense talent and offensive ability despite his diminutive size, and was selected 3rd overall by the Shawinigan Cataractes in the 2014 QMJHL Entry Draft.
In his rookie season (aged 16), Girard was impressive, posting 43 pts (5 G, 38 A) and a +15 in 64 games. He followed that up with a massive sophomore campaign, putting up 74 pts (10 G, 64 A) and a +24 in 67 games. The Cataractes entered the 2016 President’s Cup Playoffs as the 2nd overall seed, and were dominant through three rounds until being dismantled by the top-seeded Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in the finals. Girard led all QMJHL defensemen with 22 points in 20 playoff games.
With sheer offensive numbers like that, it wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest that Girard would have been a lock to go in the 1st round of the NHL Entry Draft that year if he was even two inches taller. But Central Scouting had him at #38 among North American skaters, and he was chosen 47th overall (in Round 2) by the Nashville Predators.
After another huge season in Shawinigan, in which he led the QMJHL in assists (66) and was first among all defensemen in points (75), the Cataractes were upset mightily in the first round by the 14th-seed Val-d’Or Foreurs, and Girard reported straight to the Predators’ AHL affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals. He got into 8 games and scored his first pro goal, but the Admirals were swept in Round 1.
Upon making the Predators’ 23-man roster on opening night, he was told he wouldn’t get into every game. This is because the Predators wanted to look at him over a longer period of time before deciding whether or not to keep him past the magic number of 9 games before burning a year off his entry-level contract. In the 5 games he did suit up for Nashville, he seemed quite unfazed by the transition to the NHL, averaging 17 minutes a game and tallying 3 points, including his first NHL goal on a ripper from the point.
Girard’s career as a Predator came to an abrupt end when he was one of many assets snatched up by the Colorado Avalanche in a massive three-team trade on November 5th, 2017. (This is better known as the Matt Duchene - Kyle Turris trade). Girard gelled with the Avalanche almost immediately, and has been a mainstay on their defense corps since his arrival.
(Peter Oundjian, EP 2018)