With Francis Perron, skill has never been called into question.
The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies left wing came into the Quebec League as a No. 6 overall pick in the entry draft two years ago. This season, the 5-foot-11½, 165-pound Perron exhibited a flair for creating offence, counting 18 goals and 55 points over 68 games and manning the point on power plays. Still, there is some question of how the compactly built Rosemère, Que., native would be able to adapt to the next level.
"After Christmas, I felt my work ethic was more consistent from game to game," says Perron, who is NHL Central Scouting Service's 70th-ranked North American skater. "I was going in the corners more and winning more of my battles. Even though I'm not very big, I was finishing my checks
"It's all in my head," Perron adds. "I have to be more confident in my work ethic ... This year I had a lot of ups and downs. I need to be more consistent in my work ethic. I also need to put on a little weight and go in the corners."
Perron, point being, could still have a lofty ceiling to reach over the next two seasons in the QMJHL, which could make him an enticing pick in the middle of the NHL draft.
He credits the way he was used in 2012-13 by then-Huskies coach André Tourigny with filling out his two-way game. Tourigny is now one of Patrick Roy's assistant coaches with the Colorado Avalanche.
"My first year as a 16-year-old helped me a lot for getting ready for this year," Perron says. "I was used in more of a defensive role. I am an offensive player, so it was different for me. I was more reliable defensively and I played PK all year."
1. How would you describe your game?
"I'm a skilled forward. I would say my hockey sense is my main strength. I've always been known as an offensive player, on the PP and on the first two lines."
2. What teammate has given you the most help during your time in Rouyn-Noranda?
"Gabriel Desjardins, who's now playing in the AHL in the Colorado Avalanche organization. He was here during my 16-year-old season. He was a 20 and he was always helping me. He was always pushing me during practices. I thank him a lot for that."
3. Outside of your parents, who has had the greatest influence on you in hockey?
"My brother Alexandre is the one. Every time I need to talk, I'm usually calling him. He's my best friend. He's 27 but we're so close despite our age [difference]. I thank him for that."
4. If you suddenly had one million dollars, what would be your first action?
"Pay back the money my parents spent on my hockey. Give a lot to my family. Then buy a house in a place where it doesn't get cold. Maybe in Florida or somewhere like that."
5. Favourite movie and/or TV show?
"Favourite movie, I would say, Happy Gilmore. Favourite TV show? I like to watch The X Factor."
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.
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