Prospect Report: Getting To Know Antoine Bibeau


Every Tuesday throughout the NHL season we will be updating you on the development, potential and realistic expectations for key Toronto Maple Leafs prospects with up-to-date stats, analysis and scouting reports.

Well, the trade deadline came…. Olli Jokinen, Korbinian Holzer, Daniel Winnik, Cody Franson, Mike Santorelli,  and (by some Hockey God’s miracle) David Clarkson went. Some are saying that the Leafs didn’t do enough and that the “Scorched Earth” campaign was a failure. To those people I say “chill“, it isn’t over yet.

The bigger names with term were always more likely to be moved at the draft where cap space is more available and GM’s all have dreams of Stanley Cups dancing in their heads. Admittedly, I was hoping that there would be a prospect or two acquired to analyze and talk about, but the draft picks are a nice addition regardless.

I guess we should get back to what this weekly feature is actually about; Leafs prospects. We’ve covered some lesser known lights, Brenden Leipstic, the right-wing position and my favourite Leaf prospect Viktor Loov.

More from Maple Leafs News

This week I want to shed some light on another late round potential gem that the Leafs scouting staff have unearthed; goaltender Antoine Bibeau.

Bibeau is a towering goalie prospect who toiled in relative obscurity until last season when he almost single handedly carried his QMJHL team to the Memorial Cup. On his Memorial Cup quest, Bibeau gathered several awards, including: Guy LaFleur Trophy – QMJHL Playoff MVP (the first goalie to do so since Jonathan Bernier), Hap Emms Memorial Trophy – Memorial Cup Most Outstanding Goaltender and he was named to the CHL Memorial Cup All-Star Team as the top goalie of the tournament.

Getting To Know: Antoine Bibeau

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Antoine Bibeau is currently plying his trade as the No.1B goalie with the Toronto Marlies (behind 2nd year pro Christopher Gibson). While definitely not dominating statistically and playing behind what has been a bit of an underwhelming Marlies team this year, Bibeau has continued to show that spark of potential.

TheHockeyNews has a succinct scouting report on Bibeau:

Assets: A huge goaltender, he has the capability of taking away a large portion of the net. Has also already displayed the ability to step up in big moments. Can often steal games with spectacular play.

Flaws: Like many young goaltenders, he needs to play with greater consistency and not let bad goals effect him. Must also prove he can be a workhorse netminder, since his size suggests he can be just that.

With such fanfare following his 2013-14 playoffs with Val-d’Or Foreurs, it would have been easy for Bibeau to come into his rookie season with the Marlies thinking that he was on top of the world. Early hardships in junior have helped Bibeau to stay grounded with the Marlies, both mentally and emotionally . His rookie season in the “Q” he was the backup in Charlottetown and only got into 29 games, while his team finished dead last. He was eligible for the draft that year (2012) but decided to wait and increase his chances of being picked after another season.

"“I worked really hard that summer,” Bibeau recalled.  “I had a really good camp.  I started the season on fire and got the number one job at Christmas.  We had a good season, even though we lost in the first round but I had a good playoffs in that season, too.”"

His efforts during that 2012-13 season got him invited to Hockey Canada’s U20 goaltending camp where he met current Marlie goalie coach; Piero Greco.

"“He’s got size, poise and maturity” Marlies goaltending coach Piero Greco said.  “I told him during the off-season to keep coming into this year not being satisfied. Come with that hunger.” “My report back to Toronto was pro, a real pro.” Greco recalled. “It’s all about reading the game and Bibeau is ahead of it.  I wanted him to get to another level.”"

Bibeau started off the 2014-15 season with the Marlies looking like a shot out of a cannon. Boasting a October record of 2-2-0, with a 943Sv% and only a 1.68GAA he was a man on fire. He then had a brutal November to even things out going 0-3-0, with a  837Sv% and an abysmal 4.73GAA. He’s found a much more consistent stride now and has a season record of 10-9-5, with a 914Sv% and a 2.70GAA. Clearly, consistency is still Bibeau’s greatest area of need, but with his natural size, elite technical and positioning abilities and the agility necessary to pull of some acrobatic saves (see below), he projects well as an NHL starter.

See 1:17, 2:00, 2:39, 5:07 and 5:33 for Bibeau’s best work.

Overall, Antoine Bibeau remains very much a project who will need time to get adjusted to pro level shooters as well as prove that he can cary more than a 40+ game workload if he is truly to reach his high ceiling.

Upside: No.1 Goalie with clutch playoff pedigree

Realistic Projection: Great 1A/1B platoon goalie who can play 35+ games

NHL Ready: 2018-2019

NHL Player Comparable: Jaroslav Halak

Next week we’ll continue to break down the Leaf’s prospect pipeline.

As always, feel free to comment below or reach out to me on twitter @TorrinBatchelor as you can never have too many conversations about hockey in a day!

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