Prospect Watch: Christopher Clapperton turning heads in the QMJHL
Undersized fifth-rounder lighting up the "Q" with 20 points in his first eight games of the season for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.
Christopher Clapperton is off to a fine start in his third campaign in the QMJHL. The 5'10", 180 lb (according to the Panthers' prospect camp roster) forward has terrorized the circuit by posting a league-leading 20 points (6G/14A) for the undefeated Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.
His best game of the season, so far, was a one goal, four assist performance against the Moncton Wildcats on September 29th. Clapperton has posted a hefty 11 points in his last 3 games.
The 19-year-old Quebec native went undrafted after posting a 55-point season (his first in the league) in 2012 but the Florida Panthers grabbed the goal-scoring winger in the 5th round (122nd overall) of the 2013 Entry Draft.
Clapperton attended Florida's prospect camp, sporting number 95, but did not earn an invite to the main camp and returned to the Armada for a third season of duty.
As rookie in the QMJHL during the 2011-12 season, Clapperton acquitted himself quite well by scoring 18 goals and 37 assists in 56 games. Blainville-Boisbriand advanced to the second round of the playoffs before bowing out. Clapperton scored 3 goals, added 6 assists and finished with +6 rating in 11 playoff games.
Prior to the start of 2012-13 QMJHL season, Clapperton attended the Philadelphia Flyers summer prospect camp before returning to the Armada. The experience did Clapperton good as he finished second on the team in scoring while playing in 67 of the club's 68 regular season games. Clapperton led the team with 34 goals, added 43 assists and was +17 with 71 PIM. In the playoffs, the left wing notched 6 goals and 14 assists in 20 games before the Armada were knocked out in the semifinals.
Clapperton is a bit on the small side and isn't the fleetest of foot but his determination, offensive instincts and goal-scoring ability should earn him a look at the NHL level at some point, but he will likely need to translate his success in the "Q" to the AHL first.