LEWISTON — Francis Beauvillier isn’t standing out this week at the Lewiston Maineiacs’ training camp.

Neither is Jean-Francois Plante.

And as 16-year-olds go, that’s probably a good thing.

“They’re big boys” Maineiacs’ GM Roger Shannon said. “It’s like Michael (Chaput) coming in
here last year. He was probably our most impressive player at camp last
year, and the reason was, he’s big. The bigger kids can be more
impressive at 16 because they don’t look physically immature compared
to the veterans.”

Beauvillier and Plante, both selected in the first round in June’s QMJHL draft, are getting more looks by the general population — and by the coaching staff — because they were first-rounders, two of eight players in camp who can claim that.

“I think it’d be a lie to say there weren’t some higher expectations,”
MacAdam said. “I’d be disappointed if a player picked in the first
round didn’t expect to excel at the camp. It might mean we picked the
wrong guy.”

But so far, Shannon said, there have been no mistakes.

“Very, very much so, they looked good,” Shannon said. “They’re good kids, too.”

Beauvillier and Plante, meanwhile, are much less concerned with where they were drafted, appearing to care more about making the squad with a deep pool of bigger, talented players.

“Expectations are a bit higher being a first choice,” Beauvillier said in his native French. “I have to give it everything, because there’s no number on my back that says I was a first pick. I’m a player like all of the others, and the coach will decide if I am good enough to be here.”

“I don’t see it as pressure,” Plante said. “You come to camp, no one
sees who was a first-round pick, who was a 12th-round pick, it doesn’t
matter.”

Two things are standing out to Beauvillier (3rd overall) and Plante (11th): size and speed.

“I’m a bit younger than the rest of the players, and for sure that makes a difference,” Beauvillier said, “and going into a corner with a bigger guy who’s 19 or 20, I may get knocked down, but you have to pick yourself up and move on.”

“It’s pretty quick, faster than last year, but I have to adapt myself,” Plante said.

The preparation, they said, started months ago.

“I tried the best I could to get a bit bigger this summer, to try and make sure I was physically ready,” Beauvillier said.

“It was my first summer of really good, hard training,” Plante said. “I
knew there would be a lot of older people than me, so i have to be
stronger. I worked a lot on my strength, and also on my feet to be
quicker.”

It’s paid off. Beauvillier and Plante have kept up with the pace of camp this week, and both players are getting a chance against other teams in preseason exhibition games. The rest, they said, is out of their hands.

“I concentrate on what I do, and I can’t control what the coach thinks or know what he is thinking,” Plante said.

From the sounds of it, Plante and Beauvillier wouldn’t mind knowing even if they could.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.