Joaquim Lemay logged onto Zoom with a smile on his face after going 119th overall to the Washington Capitals. Behind him: a Capitals-themed jumbotron lamp that’s no longer just a fan souvenir; it’s a symbol that represents the start of his NHL journey with the team he grew up watching on TV.
“I’ve been a fan. My favorite player when I was young was Alex Ovechkin,” Lemay explained. “Since he’s been in his best years, I’ve been watching him growing up.”
Now that he’s beginning his career and chasing his dream of going pro, he’s ready to put his fandom behind him.
“I won’t be a fan anymore, just more of a teammate,” Lemay noted. He also added that he looks forward to getting advice and learning from his long-time idol in Ovechkin.
READ MORE ON WHN: Meet Capitals Prospect Brent Johnson
The left-handed blueliner was Washington’s third-straight defenseman taken in the 2021 NHL Draft. He’ll play at the University of Nebraska – Omaha next season after a 15-game stint in the BCHL with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in 2020-21, where he dished 10 assists. Lemay was ranked 224th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
Listed as 6-foot-1, 171 pounds, Lemay said he wants to put weight on over the offseason and get stronger. He also wants to improve his shot.
The Quebec native tries to model his game after Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes and Dallas Stars blueliner Miro Heiskanen. He’s a strong puck-moving d-man who can transition quickly and join the rush, and he’s a good skater with a lot of skill.
As he heads to the NCAA, he looks forward to taking that time to develop and grow his game.
“That was the main thing for me,” Lemay explained. “Having more time to get bigger and get stronger, and obviously NCAA is unbelievable division. I think I’m going to get a lot out of it. There’s a good pace in that league, so it’s good for my speed.”