As a prospect, Rourke Chartier is most often described as “elusive” and “silky smooth.”
And at 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, Chartier has to be elusive and silky smooth to be effective against larger opponents.
Although his small stature has some in the hockey world believing that he is a long shot to translate this skill set to the NHL, his speed and finesse are so dynamic that it hardly seems a risk for the Sharks to take him 149th overall, in the fifth round.
Because for a player taken that deep in the Draft, Chartier just smells of being the type of player who could be a top-six forward in the NHL, which would leave many other teams wondering how they let Chartier get away, themselves.
- He makes opposing defenses and goalies miss. A lot. He might not have the pure pedigree of Sharks first-round Draft pick Nikolay Goldobin, but Chartier is in many ways cut from the same mold.
- Is highly disciplined. In fact, he only had eight penalty minutes in 72 games played this past season, in a league – the Western Hockey League – that has the reputation of the roughest junior league around. So, if Chartier maintained his discipline in that environment, it’s hard to imagine him changing his ways as me moves up to higher levels.
- He is used to playing in a winning environment. His junior team, the Western Hockey League’s Kelowna (British Columbia) Rockets, have been a dominant force since Chartier arrived in their lineup. Not just “kind of” dominant. The Rockets went 57-11-0-4 this past season. So, “really dominant.”
- His father, Marc Chartier, also played in the Western Hockey League. He laced up the skates with the Saskatoon Blades from 1977-80, before playing for Canada’s national team later in the 1980s.
- Was born and raised in Saskatoon, which is the province of Saskatchewan’s largest city. Perhaps Chartier’s native Saskatoon’s most lasting NHL Draft legacy (to date) came in 1983. That year, the owners of the financially-troubled St. Louis Blues attempted to shut the team down and move it to Saskatoon. Although the NHL intervened and prevented this from happening, the dispute continued during the 1983 Draft, where the Blues “didn’t show up”, becoming the only team ever to decline the right to participate in the NHL Draft.