Samuel Girard
Born (1998-05-12)May 12, 1998,
Roberval, Quebec, Canada
Height
Weight
5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
162 lb (73 kg; 11 st 8 lb)
Position Defence
Shoots Left
NHL team
F. teams
Colorado Avalanche
Nashville Predators
NHL Draft 47th overall, 2016
Nashville Predators
Playing career 2017–present

Samuel Girard (born May 12, 1998) is a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman for the Colorado Avalanche in the National Hockey League (NHL). After playing major junior hockey with the Shawinigan Cataractes, Girard was drafted 47th overall by the Nashville Predators in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. He remained on the Predators roster until the 2017–18 season when he was dealt alongside Vladislav Kamenev and a 2018 second round pick, in a three-team trade to the Colorado Avalanche, in exchange for Kyle Turris from the Ottawa Senators on November 5, 2017.

As a member of the Colorado Avalanche, Girard improved his on-ice success recording career-high numbers in his first three seasons. During the 2019–20 season, Girard joined fellow defensemen Cale Makar in the 30 points club, making the Avalanche the first team with multiple defensemen under the age of 22 who have at least 30 points since 1993–94.

He has also competed with Canada men's national junior ice hockey team at the 2015 Hlinka Gretzky Cup where he won a gold medal.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Girard was born on May 12, 1998,[1] to family day care educator Guylaine and forklift driver Tony Girard.[2] He was raised in Roberval, Quebec, Canada alongside siblings Jérémy, Christopher, and Jessica.[3] Girard is also the nephew of Roberval mayor Guy Larouche[4][5] and his grandfather Gaston Girard is a hockey trainer.[6]

Both Sam and his brother Jérémy played midget hockey growing up; however, the family could not afford for both boys to play AAA and Jérémy gave it up.[2][7]

Playing career[edit | edit source]

Youth[edit | edit source]

Girard began playing ice hockey when he was four years old.[8] While attending Wilbrod-Dufour Pavilion, he began training with Mathieu Gravel in order to increase his muscular mass and stamina.[9]

Girard played in the 2011 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament with a minor ice hockey team from Lac-Saint-Jean.[10] While playing AA Bantam hockey for the Lac-St-Jean Espoirs, Girard was chosen to participate at the AllState Canadian All-Star Hockey Camp.[11] After graduating to the Quebec Junior AAA Hockey League (QMAAA), Girard drew interest while playing with the Jonquière Élites. Leading up to the 2014 QMJHL Entry Draft, he was considered a top draft prospect for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).[12] After the 2013–14 season, he earned QMAAA First All-Star Team and Top Defenceman honours.[13]

Junior[edit | edit source]

Girard was drafted third overall by the Shawinigan Cataractes in the 2014 QMJHL Entry Draft,[14] making him the first player from Jonquière Elites to be drafted that high since Jean Imbeau in 1989.[15] Girard moved in with power skating coach Julie Robitaille during his rookie season and trained with Mathieu Bellemare, and Bruno-Carl Denis to gain physical strength. Although he was drafted at 155lb, he bulked up to 164lbs by 2015.[16] Robitaille also trained Girard at her power skating school,[17] where he would later coach younger players as well.[18]

In his first season with the Cataractes, Girard recorded his first career QMJHL goal on November 15, 2014, in overtime to beat the Rouyn-Noranda 5–4.[19] By the conclusion of his rookie season with the Cataractes, Girard recorded 43 points in 64 games which earned him the Raymond Lagacé Trophy as Defensive Rookie of the Year.[20] He was also nominated for the Rookie of the Year Award alongside Dmytro Timashov[21] and selected for the All-Rookie Team.[22]

In the following season, Girard continued his scoring success and recorded a career high 74 points in 64 games. He started his sophomore season by recording seven points in two games.[23] Later in October, Girard was selected to compete in the CHL Canada/Russia Series for Team QMJHL.[24] On November 2, 2015, Girard was named the Third Star of the Week after recording a goal and five assists in three games.[25] He was eventually awarded the Emile Bouchard Trophy as the QMJHL Defenseman of the Year, the Frank J. Selke Memorial Trophy as the most sportsmanlike player,[26] and CHL Sportsman of the Year.[27] Leading up to the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Girard was ranked 38th overall for North American skaters by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau.[28]

Professional[edit | edit source]

Nashville Predators[edit | edit source]

Girard was selected by the Nashville Predators in the second round, 47th overall, in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.[29] He was invited to the Predators 2016 training camp and signed a three-year, entry-level contract on September 29, 2016.[30] However, he was returned to the QMJHL to complete his final season of junior hockey. In his final season, Girard led the Shawinigan Cataractes in assists and tied for points over 59 regular season games.[31] He was again selected to compete with Team QMJHL at the 2016 CIBC Canada Russia Series[32] and named to the QMJHL First All-Star Team.[33] After his season ended, Girard was reassigned to the Predators American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals, for the conclusion of the 2016–17 season.[31] He recorded his first career AHL goal on April 14, 2017, in a 6–2 win over the Rockford IceHogs.[34]

Girard made his NHL debut during the Predators 2017–18 season home opener on October 10, 2017 against the Philadelphia Flyers. He registered a –1 rating and recorded his first point with an assist on a goal by Filip Forsberg.[35] Girard scored his first NHL goal in just his second game on October 12, 2017 against the Dallas Stars, he took a pass from P. K. Subban and put a slap shot over the shoulder of Stars goalie Ben Bishop; he also recorded an assist on a goal by Filip Forsberg.[36] He remained on the Predators roster during the 2017–18 season and appeared in five of their first 14 games of the season before he was dealt alongside Vladislav Kamenev and a 2018 second round pick, in a three-team trade to the Colorado Avalanche, in exchange for Kyle Turris from the Ottawa Senators on November 5, 2017.[37]

Colorado Avalanche[edit | edit source]

Girard joined the Avalanche in Stockholm, Sweden for their Global Series games against the Ottawa Senators. In his Avalanche debut at Ericsson Globe, Girard played top-pairing minutes and registered an assist, in a 4–3 overtime defeat to the Senators on November 10, 2017.[38]

Upon returning to North America, Girard remained steady in the Avalanche's lineup. On December 23, 2017, Girard was sucker punched by Arizona Coyotes left winger Zac Rinaldo after Girard took exception to a hit on teammate Nathan MacKinnon. Two fights broke out, resulting in the ejections of Rinaldo, MacKinnon and Coyotes right winger Josh Archibald, with further disciplinary action against Rinaldo handed out after the game.[39] Girard was not injured in the play and was able to finish the game.[40] After averaging 21:32 in his first nine games, Girard's ice time lowered to an average of 15:10.[41] He ended the regular season with 23 points as he helped the Avalanche qualify for the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs. He made his post-season debut in the first round against his former team but suffered an Upper-Body Injury which kept him out of the series.[42]

During the 2018–19 season, Girard played in all 82 games and was tied second amongst Avalanche defensemen in points with 27. He also played an average of 19:53, including a career-high 26:36 on November 30 against the St. Louis Blues.[43] On December 19, 2019, Girard was fined $1,957.89 for boarding Chicago Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat.[44] The Avalanche again qualified for the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs and Girard was partnered with Erik Johnson in their first round matchup against the Calgary Flames. However, after suffering a shoulder injury, he was replaced by Cale Makar.[45] After missing the conclusion of Round 1, Girard returned to the Avalanche's lineup for Round 2 against the San Jose Sharks.[46] Once the team was eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs, Girard signed a seven-year, $35 million contract extension with the Avalanche, carrying an annual average of $5 million, on July 31, 2019.[47]

Girard began the 2019–20 season with the Avalanche in the NHL.[48] On January 2, he recorded a career-high four assists in a 7–3 win over the St. Louis Blues.[49] Later that month, he played in his 200th career NHL game and became the longest active iron man streak holder on the team.[50] In his 200th career game on January 11, Girard also recorded two assists in their 4–3 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.[51] He continued his third season by tying his career high of 27 points with a goal in a 6–1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on February 5.[52] Girard would later join fellow defensemen Cale Makar in the 30 points club, making the Avalanche the first team with multiple defensemen under the age of 22 who have at least 30 points since 1993–94.[53]

International play[edit | edit source]

As a citizen of Canada, Girard has been given the opportunity to compete with Team Canada at multiple international levels. In his rookie season with the Shawinigan Cataractes, Girard was selected for Team Canada at the World U-17 Hockey Challenge.[54] In 2015, Girard was selected to compete with Team Canada at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup.[55] He played four games and recorded one point as Canada won a gold medal.[56]

The next year, he was invited to Team Canada's 2016 National Junior Team Development Camp[57] and 2017 National Junior Team Development Camp.[58]

Player profile[edit | edit source]

"Samuel has been one of our best all-around defencemen since joining the Avalanche....He plays important minutes and is someone our coaches count on to play against other teams' top lines. He has an exceptional ability to skate and move the puck."
—– General manager Joe Sakic of Girard's skating ability.[59]

Described as a smooth-skating and mobile player, Girard is compared to NHL defencemen Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks.[60] Standing at 5-foot-10 in his draft year, Girard has also drawn comparisons to Brian Campbell due to his stature, "strong edge work and balance."[61]

Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News described Girard as "An excellent offensive defenseman who uses his smarts to get around the ice, Girard ended the regular season en fuego, with seven points in his last two games. Defensive play is a concern, but his escapability is uncanny when he has the puck."[62]

Personal life[edit | edit source]

In 2019, the Benoît-Lévesque Sports Centre, where Girard played hockey growing up, created a recognition window which depicted about Girard's journey to the NHL.[63] He was also invited to sit as honorary presidents of the cadet and juvenile division 1 School Hockey Championship with the Quebec Student Sports Network.[64][65]

Girard is actively involved in helps raise funds for cystic fibrosis, which his cousin is afflicted by. In 2019, Girard and his father hosted a pocket game tournament to raise funds towards a cure for cystic fibrosis.[66] He also donated a portion of his profits from the QMJHL to the Julie Robitaille's School of Power Skating who helped him train.[67]

In 2018, as he was returning from a charity event, Girard fell asleep at the wheel while inebriated driving a Chevrolet Camaro and it struck the parapet, causing major damage.[3] He maintained minor neck pain after the injury and was transported to Alma Hospital as a preventative measure.[68]

Career statistics[edit | edit source]

Regular season and playoffs[edit | edit source]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2013–14 Jonquière Élites QMAAA 42 7 29 36 16
2014–15 Shawinigan Cataractes QMJHL 64 5 38 43 8 7 0 2 2 2
2015–16 Shawinigan Cataractes QMJHL 67 10 64 74 10 21 2 20 22 4
2016–17 Shawinigan Cataractes QMJHL 59 9 66 75 29 5 1 8 9 4
2016–17 Milwaukee Admirals AHL 6 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 2
2017–18 Nashville Predators NHL 5 1 2 3 2
2017–18 Colorado Avalanche NHL 68 3 17 20 6 3 0 0 0 0
2018–19 Colorado Avalanche NHL 82 4 23 27 6 9 0 2 2 0
2019–20 Colorado Avalanche NHL 70 4 30 34 17 15 1 9 10 6
NHL totals 225 12 72 84 31 27 1 11 12 6

International[edit | edit source]

Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2014 Canada Black U17 7th 5 1 2 3 0
2015 Canada IH18 Gold medal icon.svg 4 1 0 1 0
Junior totals 9 2 2 4 0

Awards and honours[edit | edit source]

Award Year
QMAAA
First All-Star Team 2014 [13]
Top Defenceman 2014
QMJHL
All-Rookie Team 2015 [22]
Raymond Lagacé Trophy 2015 [20]
First All-Star Team 2016, 2017 [26][33]
Emile Bouchard Trophy 2016 [26]
Frank J. Selke Memorial Trophy 2016
CHL Sportsman of the Year 2016 [27]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Samuel Girard. National Hockey League. Archived from the original on September 9, 2019. Retrieved on April 2, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "In Canada, the Cost of Youth Hockey Benches the Next Generation", The New York Times, February 22, 2020. Retrieved on March 10, 2020. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 ""ON A PENSÉ AU PIRE"", La Presse, June 12, 2018. Retrieved on March 10, 2020. (French) 
  4. Le Robervalois Samuel Girard repêché dans la LNH (French). Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (June 25, 2016). Retrieved on March 11, 2020.
  5. "Guy Larouche: un maire admiratif envers Samuel Girard", Le Quotidien, October 19, 2016. Retrieved on March 11, 2020. (French) 
  6. Tout un accueil pour Samuel Girard à Roberval (French). Le Nouvelles Hebdo (August 27, 2016). Retrieved on March 11, 2020.
  7. Les sacrifices du grand frère de Samuel Girard enfin récompensés (French). Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (October 13, 2017). Retrieved on March 10, 2020.
  8. Hodapp, Taylor (January 21, 2018). Getting To Know: Samuel Girard. National Hockey League.
  9. "Girard épate la galerie", Le Journal de Québec, March 7, 2013. Retrieved on March 11, 2020. (French) 
  10. Pee-Wee players who have reached NHL or WHA. Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament (2018).
  11. Harvey et Girard dans la mire des grands (French). Néomédia (August 13, 2013). Retrieved on March 10, 2020.
  12. QMJHL #2 ranked draft prospect: Samuel Girard. Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (May 29, 2014).
  13. 13.0 13.1 Colorado Avalanche 2019–20 Media Guide 46–47. National Hokcey Legaue. Retrieved on March 10, 2020.
  14. Les Cataractes sélectionnent… Samuel Girard (French). Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (May 31, 2014). Retrieved on March 11, 2020.
  15. "Page d'histoire au pays des bleuets", Le Journal de Montréal, May 31, 2014. Retrieved on March 11, 2020. 
  16. "Je me sens comme chez moi" -Samuel Girard (French). L'Hebdo du St-Maurice (July 2, 2015). Retrieved on March 11, 2020.
  17. Un bon patineur, mais… (French). Le Nouvelles Hebdo (August 31, 2018). Retrieved on March 11, 2020.
  18. Samuel Girard à Dolbeau-Mistassini pour aider de jeunes hockeyeurs. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (August 19, 2019). Retrieved on March 11, 2020.
  19. Les Cataractes reviennent de l'Abitibi avec deux points (French). Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (November 15, 2014). Retrieved on March 11, 2020.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Some individual trophies were given out tonight. Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (March 27, 2015). Retrieved on March 10, 2020.
  21. Golden Puck Awards: the nominees are revealed!. Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (March 25, 2015). Retrieved on March 10, 2020.
  22. 22.0 22.1 The Golden Puck Awards: an unforgettable evening!. Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (April 9, 2015). Retrieved on April 2, 2020.
  23. Début de saison époustouflant pour Samuel Girard! (French). Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (October 11, 2015). Retrieved on March 11, 2020.
  24. Team QMJHL selected for Canada-Russia series. National Hockey League (October 13, 2015). Retrieved on March 10, 2020.
  25. Samuel Girard nommé la troisième étoile de la semaine (French). Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (November 2, 2015). Retrieved on March 11, 2020.
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 The Golden Puck Awards: an unforgettable evening!. Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (April 6, 2016).
  27. 27.0 27.1 Janes Sportsman of the Year Award – Samuel Girard. Canadian Hockey League (May 29, 2016). Retrieved on March 10, 2020.
  28. 2016 Draft Prospect Rankings. National Hockey League. Retrieved on March 10, 2020.
  29. Predators' Samuel Girard: Nashville rolls dice on power-play specialist. CBS Sports (June 25, 2016). Retrieved on March 10, 2020.
  30. Nashville signs 2016 second-rounder Girard. Nashville Predators (September 29, 2016). Retrieved on October 12, 2017.
  31. 31.0 31.1 Samuel Girard Assigned to Admirals. Milwaukee Admirals. Retrieved on March 10, 2020.
  32. Team QMJHL Roster announced for 2016 CIBC Canada Russia Series. Canadian Hockey League (October 26, 2016). Retrieved on March 11, 2020.
  33. 33.0 33.1 The Golden Puck Awards: an unforgettable evening!. Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (April 5, 2017). Retrieved on March 11, 2020.
  34. ADMIRALS SINK HOGS IN FINAL ROAD MATCHUP. Rockford Ice Hogs (April 14, 2017). Archived from the original on February 21, 2018. Retrieved on March 10, 2020.
  35. Predators bounce back to defeat Flyers. National Hockey League (October 10, 2017). Retrieved on October 10, 2017.
  36. Girard gets first NHL goal in Predators win against Stars. National Hockey League (October 12, 2017). Retrieved on October 12, 2017.
  37. Avalanche acquires four players and three picks in three-team trade. Colorado Avalanche (November 5, 2017). Retrieved on November 5, 2017.
  38. Stone scores twice to lift Senators past Avalanche. National Hockey League (November 10, 2017). Retrieved on November 10, 2017.
  39. Coyotes' Zac Rinaldo suspended six games for punching Avalanche's Samuel Girard. ESPN (December 27, 2017). Retrieved on January 26, 2018.
  40. Coyotes' Zac Rinaldo sucker punches rookie, sparks brawl vs. Avalanche. Sportsnet (December 23, 2017). Retrieved on November 24, 2017.
  41. Girard settling in with Avalanche. National Hockey League (December 13, 2017). Archived from the original on December 13, 2017. Retrieved on March 11, 2020.
  42. Girard Out With Upper-Body Injury. National Hockey League (April 14, 2018). Retrieved on March 10, 2020.
  43. Samuel Girard: 2018-19 Season in Review. National Hockey League (August 6, 2019). Retrieved on March 11, 2020.
  44. Avalanche's Samuel Girard fined for boarding Blackhawks' Alex DeBrincat. NBC Sports (December 19, 2019). Retrieved on March 10, 2020.
  45. "The Avalanche's Cale Makar and Sam Girard: Together on the power play at last?", Denver Post, April 25, 2019. Retrieved on March 10, 2020. 
  46. Girard Healthy For Game 1 Against Sharks. National Hockey League (April 25, 2019). Retrieved on March 10, 2020.
  47. "Sam Girard has a long contract, big future with Avalanche", Denver Post, September 16, 2019. Retrieved on March 10, 2020. 
  48. Avalanche 2019-20 Opening Night Roster. National Hockey League (October 3, 2019). Retrieved on March 11, 2020.
  49. PLAYER OF THE WEEK Samuel Girard. National Hockey League Players' Association (January 6, 2020). Retrieved on March 11, 2020.
  50. At 200 NHL Games, Girard is Finding Offensive Stride. National Hockey League (January 10, 2020). Retrieved on March 11, 2020.
  51. Avalanche's Samuel Girard: Two helpers in 200th career game. CBS Sports (January 11, 2020). Retrieved on March 11, 2020.
  52. Burakovsky Records New Career High in Buffalo. National Hockey League (February 5, 2020). Retrieved on March 11, 2020.
  53. Facts and Figures: Girard joins Makar in 30-point club for Avalanche. National Hockey League (February 27, 2020). Retrieved on March 11, 2020.
  54. Canadian Rosters for 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Canadian Hockey League (October 2, 2014). Retrieved on March 10, 2020.
  55. Canada Sets West-Heavy Roster For Ivan Hlinka Tournament. The Hockey Writers (August 5, 2015). Retrieved on March 10, 2020.
  56. Canada U18 wins gold at 2015 Ivan Hlinka. Ontario Hockey League (August 15, 2015). Retrieved on March 10, 2020.
  57. 2016 National Junior Team Development Camp Roster. Hockey Canada. Retrieved on March 11, 2020.
  58. 2017 National Junior Team Development Camp Roster. Hockey Canada. Retrieved on March 11, 2020.
  59. Avalanche sign defenceman Samuel Girard to seven-year extension. Sportsnet (July 31, 2019). Retrieved on March 10, 2020.
  60. "Chambers: Sam Girard built up to be the next Duncan Keith", Denver Post, November 18, 2017. Retrieved on March 10, 2020. 
  61. Prospect of Interest: The 411 on Samuel Girard. Sportsnet (June 20, 2016). Retrieved on March 11, 2020.
  62. Samuel Girard Profile. My NHL Draft. Retrieved on March 10, 2020.
  63. Roberval souligne le parcours de Samuel Girard (French). Le Quotidien (January 30, 2019). Retrieved on March 10, 2020.
  64. RSEQ Championnat provincial scolaire de hockey cadet et juvénile D1 et juvénile division 2 (French) (April 29, 2018). Retrieved on March 11, 2020.
  65. "Passage remarqué de Samuel Girard à Alma", Le Nouvelliste, April 28, 2018. Retrieved on March 11, 2020. (French) 
  66. Samuel Girard troque le hockey contre les poches pour une bonne cause (French). Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (January 26, 2019). Retrieved on March 11, 2020.
  67. 2016, l'année de Samuel Girard (French). L'Hebdo du St-Maurice (December 9, 2016). Retrieved on March 11, 2020.
  68. Avs' Girard fell asleep at wheel while inebriated, left uninjured. The Sports Network (June 12, 2018). Retrieved on March 11, 2020.

External links[edit | edit source]


[[Category:1998 births]

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