In the last week, UNO has added four new recruits to its lineup for future seasons. The latest is U16 defenseman Joaquim Lemay who plays for Séminaire St-Joseph M18 in Quebec, Canada.
The Académie De Hockey (Denis Francoeur) Twitter account made the announcement that 16-year-old Lemay is a verbal commit to Omaha for the 2021-22 season.
I’m told there is excitement surrounding this young prospect. The belief is that he could become one of top defensemen to suit up for the Mavericks in the program’s short history.
When it comes to Quebec-based recruits, I’m glad I have 7 years of middle school and high school French classes to fall back on so I can try and decipher some of the recruiting information online.
In 27 games this season with Séminaire St-Joseph M18 (a Canadian prep school), Lemay has 5 goals and 17 assists. In the 2017-18 season with Collége Marie-De-L’Incarnation M18 (in the same prep school league), Lemay had 4 goals and 8 assists in 28 games during the team’s regular season.
He’ll have time to grow and develop over the next couple of seasons before joining UNO. His team site lists him at 5' 10".
Here is a highlight compilation of Joaquim Lemay’s play:
According to EliteProspects.com, Lemay was drafted in 2018 by Rimouski Océanic in the QMJHL Entry Draft. As has been discussed before in our recruiting updates, “major junior” hockey is basically the equivalent of minor league hockey in Canada.
Taking that into consideration, it’s a good idea for schools to gain a foothold with some of these top Canadian prospects before they go the “major junior” route because if they do end up playing “major junior” hockey — even one game — it can affect their NCAA eligibility.
I always use a bit of caution when it comes to young prospects like this in D-I hockey. With the way the game is structured — and the fact that most recruits play a season or two of junior hockey prior to joining a collegiate team — it is hard to gauge what will happen in the next two to three years.
Be that as it may, it is good to see the coaching staff getting verbal commitments from recruits born in 2002.
It’s also nice to have a coach on staff (Dave Noel-Bernier) who is a Quebec native. This is the third recruit from Quebec that UNO has in the pipeline (Alexandre Roy and Vincent Nardone are the other two).
Stay tuned to mavpuck.com/news for all of our recruiting updates.