Many successful NHL players have come out of the QMJHL, including Philadelphia Flyers right winger Claude Giroux.Giroux, 24, has made his way up through the ranks, all the way to assistant captain of the Flyers. The Hearst, Ontario native began his career in the Canadian Hockey League in 2005, when the Gatineau Olympiques invited him to their training camp.
You can bet they didn’t regret that move. Giroux signed with the Olympiques shortly after camp and make his QMJHL debut that season. He had an impressive 39 goals and 64 assists for 103 points in 69 games before adding 20 points in 17 playoff games.
It should come as no surprise that he was then named QMJHL Rookie of the Year for that season – and it wouldn’t even be his best.
After being drafted 22nd overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Giroux would only get better with experience, as his numbers further increased in his second QMJHL season. In 63 games with Gatineau, he had a career-high 48 goals and 64 assists. He’d also make his AHL debut with the Philadelphia Phantoms that year.
The following season (’06-’07) would be his best (when averaged), and last in the QMJHL. Giroux scored 38 goals and 68 assists in just 55 games, and ended the season with a career-best plus-40 rating.
He also had an outstanding 51 points in 19 playoff games – a franchise record – as Gatineau won the league playoffs, and Giroux was named MVP. The forward also made his NHL debut that year, playing in his first game on February 19, 2008.
Through his QMJHL career, Giroux won a number of accolades. He played in the CHL Top Prospects game in 2005-06, was named rookie of the month in December 2005 and March 2006, and was named to the all-rookie team that year. In 2007-08, Giroux made both the QMJHL First All-Star and Canadian Major Junior First All-Star teams.
Giroux would go on to split the 2008-09 season between the Phantoms (AHL) and the Flyers before making the full NHL squad in 2009-10. In between, he’d win a gold medal at the 2008 IIHF World Junior Champhionships with Team Canada.
To date, in 285 regular season NHL games, he has scored 78 goals and 165 assists and set a Flyers record for most points in a single Stanley Cup Playoffs game.
The QMJHL alum will also grace the cover of NHL 13.