When Twenty Is Old

With the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season wrapping up tomorrow, diminutive Caps prospect Mathieu Perreault (who the Caps list at 5'9", 151 pounds) is, in all likelihood, going to end up leading the League in scoring - which, of course, is great, especially since he'll be the second consecutive Caps prospect to do so and adding a Jean Béliveau Trophy to a resume that already includes a Michel Brière Memorial Trophy (as that league's MVP) certainly ain't bad.

But is leading the Q in scoring a decent predictor of NHL success? I'll let you be the judge of that.

Below are Perreault and the last twenty QMJHL scoring leaders (active NHLers noted with an asterisk, other Briere Trophy winners noted with a plus) along with their age at the end of the given season, their total points that season, NHL games played to date and NHL points to date.

2007-08: Mathieu Perreault+ (20, 113+; 0, 0)
2006-07: Francois Bouchard (18, 125; 0, 0)
2005-06: Alexander Radulov*+ (19, 152; 135, 91)
2004-05: Sidney Crosby*+ (17, 168; 209, 289)
2003-04: Sidney Crosby*+ (16, 135; 209, 289)
2002-03: Joel Perrault*+ (19, 116; 72, 22)
2001-02: Pierre-Marc Bouchard*+ (17, 140; 344, 216)
2000-01: Simon Gamache+ (20, 184; 48, 13)
1999-00: Brad Richards*+ (19, 186; 558, 497)
1998-99: Mike Ribeiro* (19, 167; 427, 288)
1997-98: Ramzi Abid+ (17, 135; 68, 30)
1996-97: Pavel Rosa (19, 152; 36, 18)
1995-96: Daniel Briere* (18, 163; 553, 437)
1994-95: Patrick Carignan (I can't even find a birthdate on this dude, 137; 0, 0)
1993-94: Yanick Dube+ (19, 141; 0, 0)
1992-93: Rene Corbet (19, 148; 362, 132)
1991-92: Patrick Poulin (18, 138; 634, 235)
1990-91: Yanic Perreault*+ (19, 185; 853, 513)
1989-90: Patrick Lebeau (20, 174; 15, 5)
1988-89: Stephane Morin (19, 186; 90, 55)
1987-88: Patrice Lefebvre (18, 200; 3, 0)

Point being - and this is not to take anything away from Perreault's accomplishment - before anyone gets too excited, note that the last two 20-year-olds to lead the Q in scoring (both of whom, like Perreault, were listed at 5'10" or smaller and drafted in the late rounds) have combined for 18 points in 63 career NHL games and 1,350 points in 1,156 non-NHL games since leaving the QMJHL.

So does being small and 20 when leading the Q in scoring doom one to a career of bouncing around various second- and third-tier leagues with the occasional NHL cup of coffee? Let's just say that Mathieu Perreault has his work cut out for him if he's going to break the mold.

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