After starting his 2021-22 season at the mountain top, playing in six games for the Washington Capitals and recording his first NHL goal, Hendrix Lapierre returned to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) for his fourth and final season.
His final season in “The Q” was a mixed bag for the 20-year-old. He finished the regular season with 51 points in 40 games for the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, but also suffered another lower body injury late in the season.
As a result, Lapierre played in just six games in the final two months of the QMJHL regular season. However, he did return to play in the playoffs, even though he hadn’t fully recovered from the injury.
“That can’t be used as an excuse. With a bit of rest, I’m pretty much recovered now,” Lapierre told LeDroit. ‘It’s an injury that I dragged along for a long time, but in the heat of the moment and in the adrenaline of the playoffs, I didn’t feel it. It was more after the matches that I felt it”
The injury didn’t seem to affect him. Lapierre was the Titan’s top scorer during the playoffs with 11 points in eight games. He would have liked to extended his junior hockey career by a few more games, but the Charlottetown Islanders were too tough in the second round.
Before leaving the ice for the last time after a career of 149 games in the QMJHL, Lapierre took time to reflect.
“I took a long time to get off of the ice. I wouldn’t change the last four years for the world. I’ve been through ups and downs. I would even say that the highs were very high and the lows were very low. I have met so many people in four years. I’ve had my share of good times. I had so much fun even though there were sequences where I didn’t always live up to my expectations. I am strict with myself. I am always asking myself questions to make things better.”
A Taste Of The Top
Lapierre’s 2021-22 campaign began with a solid prospect development camp and main training camp with the Capitals, and was ultimately awarded a spot on the Capitals opening night roster. He would also score his first career NHL goal.
Lapierre returned to Acadie-Bathurst to have a fairly decent second half of the season, but missed a lot of games late in the season due two different lower body injuries. Lapierre finished the season with 21 goals and 30 assists in 40 games played and a 1.28 points per game percentage, good for 21st overall in the QMJHL, and 4th on the Titan roster. He recorded 150 shots for a 14.0% shooting percentage.
Lapierre played in a total of 54 games this season, still on the low side, but much better than the 2020-21 season (30 games) and 2019-20 season (24 games). He still needs games.
Third Time’s A Charm?
Among the trying times in the QMJHL were a few long-term injuries during his first two seasons with the Chicoutimi Saguenéens. He was also cut from Team Canada’s Junior team twice. However, Lapierre would give it a third try if he was called by Team Canada for the rescheduled tournament in August.
“Anytime you can represent your country, it’s special. If I receive the invitation, for sure I would like to go.”
As for the season ahead?
“My goals don’t change. I’m going to want to start the next NHL season with the Caps. Otherwise, I’ll hone my skills at Hershey in the American League. I can’t wait to get back to the life of a professional hockey player.”
By Jon Sorensen
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