Brendan Lemieux plays for the logo on the front of his Barrie Colts jersey, but there is no getting away from the one on the back.
The left wing's father is Claude Lemieux, one of the NHL's more notorious and enduring pests par excellence, raising the Stanley Cup with an unprecendented four different franchises over a career that covered nearly 1,500 games. The younger Lemieux, who is NHL Central Scouting's 38th-ranked North American skater, has a game patterned somewhat after his father. At a robust 6-foot and 206 pounds, he can do the dirty work along the walls and supplement it with a modicum of offensive savvy.
"I definitely get a lot of my dad's reputation and a lot of it I earn," is how Brendan Lemieux makes the distinction between legacy and carving out of his identity. "I try to play on par with his game. That's my role model. That's the way I want to play.
"Anything I get from his reputation I take it with a grain of salt, but I'm proud of it. He made a career out of being a pest at times and I'm okay with that. He played a lot of good hockey, scored a lot of goals in the playoffs. That's the type of player I want to be. A good playoff guy."
On the latter count, Lemieux helped the Colts come within one win of winning the Ontario Hockey League championship last season by playing an energy role as a 16-year-old. The Phoenix native has followed up by playing physically and doing his share on the scoresheet, with 15 goals and 27 points over 38 games despite an offensive outage in December.
A franchise with a paucity of Milan Lucic-types — a little skill, a lot of snarl — in its prospect pipeline might take a long look at drafting Lemieux in June. With Barrie trying to grind out a top-four finish in its conference, his main focus over the season's duration will be trying to create space for his teammates.
"I'm the kind of guy where numbers aren't always telltale," says Lemieux, who will team up with his Colts billet house roommate Aaron Ekblad on Team Orr for Wednesday's BMO Top Prospects Game in Calgary. "I just have to focus on playing a NHL style of game, a simple game."
1. What's the process like in saying, 'okay, I'm a power forward?'
"It's not an easy role and that's why I think there's a lot of need for it at the next level. I just got to stay focused on playing simple hockey and making simple plays. And that will lead to the numbers game and making the pretty plays."
2. How much did it help your development that last season, your teammate was Anthony Camara, who as a 19-year-old was farther along that path? (Camara scored 36 goals in 50 games with the Colts and is now a rookie with the Boston Bruins' AHL affiliate.)
"Cammy was a great role model for me. He demonstrated a lot of ways to get things done numbers-wise and play the right way. It was awesome to learn from him. I got to learn from the great things he did and some of his other plays where there were suspensions [Camara was suspended for during both the world junior and the decisive game of the OHL final — Ed.]. Just really see that this league is changing. It's becoming more of a little guy's league. Big guys, we really have to be careful and watch our backs when it comes to the big hits and stupid plays after the whistle and whatnot."
3. What is the biggest asset you bring to a team?
"I like the way [Colorado Avalanche forward] Ryan O'Reilly plays. There's a lot of guys. I like [Phoenix Coyotes captain] Shane Doan's game. I like [Los Angeles right wing] Dustin Brown's game."
4. Between Aaron Ekblad and yourself, who's the neat and tidy roommate and who's the messy one?
" 'Messy one?' That's definitely Aaron. Just kidding. We're both pretty clean guys. I'll probably put myself in the messy category. We have a lot of fun as roommates, though."
5. Favourite TV show or movie?
"My favourite movie is probably I Am Legend."
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.