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Propsect Update: Tristan Luneau
By Thomas Harrington
Anaheim’s second pick from the second round in 2022, defenseman Tristan Luneau, completed his third season in the QMJHL for the Gatineau Olympiques. He played with fellow Anaheim draft pick Noah Warren.
Luneau set career highs across the board, playing in 65 games and scoring 20 goals and 83 points. Before he was drafted, Luneau had scored 12 goals and 43 points in 63 games. His 83 points are the most ever by a Gatineau defenseman. He continued that stellar play into the playoffs, where he scored two goals and 17 points in 13 games. Gatineau’s season ended in a sweep against the Quebec Remparts, where fellow Anaheim prospect Nathan Gaucher played. Lunea led all QMJHL defensemen in assists and points, while also leading his team in assists and points. He finished fifth in the QMJHL in assists. For his efforts, he was named the QMJHL Defenseman of the Year, named to the QMJHL First All-Star Team, and the CHL Second-All Star Team. Winning the QMJHL Defenseman of the Year was one of his goals in junior hockey.
Luneau is a right-handed shooting defenseman who became one of the top defensemen in Canadian junior hockey last year. The offensive numbers that Luneau scored last year are incredibly impressive, but there’s more to his game than that. He was counted on to play in virtually every situation for Gatineau and was used against the opponent’s top forwards. He’s a smooth skater who reads the play well, though his offensive ability isn’t as dynamic as others. He’s more known for his well-rounded play and ability to adapt to what’s in front of him on the ice.
Luneau has one more season of junior hockey ahead of him; however, there’s a chance he could switch teams either later this summer or during the season. Gatineau has already traded Warren, and Luneau could be on his way out as well.
I have a couple of expectations for Luneau this coming season. First, I’d like to see him put up similar numbers as this past season. He put up nearly an assist per game this past season, and I’ll be quite satisfied to see that level of offensive ability from him continue. Second, he was even better in the playoffs, but I’d like to see him lead his team on a deeper postseason run. Finally, I want him to make Team Canada’s roster for the World Junior Championships.
Luneau is still a couple years away from seeing NHL action. He’s got a final year of junior hockey ahead of him, and then he should turn pro in the 2024-2025 season. He should spend most of that year in San Diego, but if he plays well enough, or the Ducks are banged up enough, he could make his NHL debut then. However, I think it more likely we see him suiting up in an Anaheim uniform in the 2025-2026 season. It may be only for a few games, or it may be for the entire season; it will largely depend on how much he develops and progresses over the next couple of years.
Luneau recently signed a standard three-year entr-level deal with the Ducks but it won’t begin until he turns pro. When it’s complete, he’ll be a restricted free agent. As long as Luneau continues to advance his game the way he did over this past season, the Ducks will absolutely extend him when his contract is up.
The next prospect update will be on forward Pavol Regenda.
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September 16th, 2023