Photo credit: Tami Quan
For the second year in a row, the NHL Draft will be held virtually, this time on Jul. 23 and 24. This year, there are nine current, former and future BCHL players that made NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings.
Leading up to the draft, we will be speaking with the prospects to get their thoughts on the process and variety of other subjects.
The BCHL’s 2021 NHL Draft coverage is presented by Chevrolet.
Charles-Alexis Legault played the extended training camp season with the West Kelowna Warriors in 2020-21 and put up a goal and three assists in 10 contests.
When the league shut down due to COVID-19 restrictions, he was one of a group of players that headed south in the new year for an opportunity to get some game action in when there was uncertainty around the BCHL season. Legault ended up with the Lincoln Stars of the USHL to finish up the year, but he will be back in West Kelowna to start the 2021-22 campaign.
The 17-year-old has been a mainstay on NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch lists throughout the year and recently clocked in as the 123rd North American skater on their final rankings ahead of the Jul. 23 draft.
We caught up with Legault to discuss his return to West Kelowna, the influence his dad has had on his career and his commitment to Boston University.
BCHL: What went into your decision to return to the BCHL this year?
Legault: The coaching staff was probably the biggest factor that made me choose to go back to West K next year. Simon Ferguson, Ayrton Nikkel and Josh Gorges are a great group. Also, with the guys we have coming back next year, we should have a good team. B.C. is one of the most beautiful provinces in Canada as well.
BCHL: What was your reaction to being ranked 123rd among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting?
Legault: It’s a good acknowledgement of how hard I’ve worked, but the draft just determines where you’re going. Afterwards, there’s still a lot of work to be put in.
BCHL: Your dad is a former pro player and also played at Boston University where you are committed to. What kind of influence has he had on your career so far?
Legault: Since I was a child, we’ve been practicing together. He’s taught me a lot. He’s taught me things that he’s good at and things he’s done wrong and I can learn from his mistakes and his successes.
BCHL: I mentioned your commitment to BU. Beyond your dad having played there, why was it the best fit for you?
Legault: It’s one of the best programs in the NCAA. The coaching staff over there, you see how they’re able to develop their defencemen. There are so many that have graduated to the next level.
BCHL: You’ll technically be a rookie in the BCHL next year, but how can you use your experience having played in West Kelowna last fall to your advantage?
Legault: I’ll go to the same billet. The only change will be a couple different guys on the team. I know the coaching system over there, so I’ll be ready to rock when the season starts. It will be different compared to those other guys that have to come in and learn the systems and get familiar with the environment.
BCHL: If you were speaking with an NHL general manager who was thinking of selecting you, how would you describe your game and how would it translate to the pro level?
Legault: I’m a big defenceman that skates and hits. I use my physicality. I train a lot. I take a lot of pride in my physical play and I can contribute on both sides of the ice as a 200-foot defenceman.