• Alex Taxman

Prospect Report: Manix Landry

Updated: Jan 6, 2021

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It’s been quite some time since I’ve sat down to write a prospect report, but as of now, I’m fully invested in this 2021 draft class. For the majority of December, I was doing video work for DU’s NCHC pod run (shoutout to breakout stars Carter Savoie and McKade Webster) and now that it’s over, I’ve finally got the time to release prospect reports again. Even though I haven’t been writing, I’ve still been watching as much shift by shift as I can, and I’m absolutely fascinated with this draft class. It’s such a strange year, and these kids are dealing with the strangest of circumstances. When I project and rank the top 10-15 players, I’ve got a pretty solid grasp of who should be in which spot. Matty Beniers and Kent Johnson look like they could be number one centers, Jesper Wallstedt could probably start 60 games in the NHL next season, the trio of Power, Lambos, and Clarke have top pairing potential, Dylan Guenther is an almost surefire productive NHLer, William Eklund’s already lighting up the SHL, Cole Sillinger’s one of the better pure snipers in recent draft memory, Luke Hughes has the potential to be something special, Fabian Lysell is giving us Lucas Raymond deja-vu, and so on and so forth. Then when it comes to the 16 to 45ish range, the numbers become nearly meaningless. There’s a lot of really solid players all throughout that tier, and Manix Landry, the subject of this report, falls somewhere near the top.

Landry’s father Éric, a Gatineau native, played professional hockey for 16 seasons, spending time in the NHL, AHL, KHL, and NLA. When Éric was playing for the Utah Grizzlies in 2003, Manix was born. The following year, they moved to Switzerland, and that’s where Manix began playing hockey. Because his father is Canadian, he was born in Utah, and he grew up in Switzerland, Manix can technically play for either USA, Canada, or Switzerland in world tournaments, which is pretty cool. Once it became clear he would be pursuing hockey, Manix moved back to Éric’s hometown of Gatineau, where the local QMJHL team happened to notice a budding talent in their backyard. Fast forward to 2018, and the Gatineau Olympiques selected him 39th overall in the QMJHL entry draft. During his 2018-2019 rookie campaign, Landry tallied 10 points in 57 games, playing limited minutes on a very bad team. This past season, he quadrupled his production, scoring 15 goals and 25 assists for 40 points in 59 games on an arguably worse team. After such an impressive on-ice 2020 campaign, and an equally impressive effort in the classroom, Landry was named captain of the Olympiques at 17 years old.

Standing 5’11, and weighing 180 pounds, Landry is naturally a center, but has played mostly left wing in Gatineau, and seems to have really found his game in that spot. If I had to attribute a stereotype to his game, he’s the guy you love to have on your team, and hate to play against. Landry plays harder than any other prospect I’ve watched for this draft, forechecking and backchecking relentlessly on every single play. He pesters his opponent with shoves and stick lifts, making it as hard as possible for them to create any offense. Watch him (#13 dark) keep working on the forecheck, eventually leading to a goal for him:

And watch how he doesn’t give up on this opposing breakaway attempt, making sure not to take a penalty along the way:

These types of plays from him aren’t one offs, they’re the norm. Check out how he surveys the ice and calls out commands to his teammates, before swiftly recovering the puck (while finishing a check), turning the play up ice, and eventually putting a shot on net:

He’s able to pickpocket nearly anybody with ease, and has such great awareness of where the puck needs to go immediately after:

Watch that poke check again and tell me it doesn’t look straight out of NHL 21.

He’s an extremely proactive player, meaning that when he sees an opportunity, he takes it. If there’s a spot he wants to go, he’s just going to go, he doesn’t care who or what is in the way. Watch here how he sees where he wants the play to end up, then makes it happen:

He’s got all the makings of a top penalty killer who smothers the opponent’s best players, but I think there’s something else there. I think he’s got a load of untapped offensive potential, and it starts with his skating ability. Landry is a highly talented skater with an NHL caliber top speed, and he’s extremely coordinated through his feet. Watch here how he effortlessly settles the puck with his skate, uses a few bursts of crossovers to back down the defense, goes through his legs, and nearly finds a lane to the net:

He’s tried this move before, and had a bit more success the last time:

Here are those crossovers again around the blue line, giving him space to make a play:

Circling back to Landry’s defensive play, he’s got a very slight Datsyukian vibe to his game. Sometimes he’ll do something like this and really make you wonder what his ceiling is:

As far as underlying numbers go, Landry’s are all fantastic. His ES, PP, and PK TOI have all risen dramatically, as have his SOG. Landry’s well over 50% in puck battles, and as of 1/1/21, his actions heatmap from the last five games looks like this:

For anyone who doesn’t understand, he suppresses opposing offense at an elite level, and creates offense at a very high level below the goal line and into the right circle. It’s a small sample size, being only the past five games, but it’s very impressive nonetheless. At this point, Landry is a fringe first rounder, someone most likely to go in the 33-50 range. There’s a select group of teams in the NHL who could take him 20th overall and I’d call it a fantastic pick, but I don’t know if he has the skill to warrant that high of a selection. That’s why I think he’ll be a great option for a team whose prospect pool is full of skill, and lacks bite. No matter what, he's one of my favorite forwards in this draft, and I’d bet the house on this kid at least becoming a highly regarded defensive specialist in the NHL.

Thanks for Reading!


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