A few years ago, if someone had said that Lapierre would be available with the 22nd overall pick in the 2020 draft, they would have been laughed out of the building. Selected first overall in the 2018 QMJHL Entry Draft, Lapierre was considered a candidate to go in one of the very first few spots by the time he was 18. His rookie season went well, with Lapierre winning the Michel Bergeron Trophy as offensive rookie of the year, scoring 45 points in 48 games.
Unfortunately, during that first season for Chicoutimi, Lapierre suffered a concussion that forced him to miss several games. He would return and play well in the playoffs, before suiting up for Team Canada at the Hlinka-Gretzky (dominating the tournament competition). The next season, Lapierre suffered multiple head injuries over a short time period and he suffered endless symptoms. He had played just 19 games in the 2019-20 season.
It wasn’t until February that it was discovered that the injuries were not actually concussions, but related to a previous vertebrae injury. He was on track to return for Chicoutimi when the season was shut down due to COVID-19. The lack of in-person medical testing because of the lockdown only lessened teams’ comfort with selecting the talented youngster, which allowed him to drop all the way to the back half of the first round.
Washington, apparently unwilling to wait any longer, used the 80th overall pick to trade up two spots and take Lapierre at 22. Now, presumably after putting him through their own medical testing, they’ve given him his first pro contract.
Lapierre was back playing for Chicoutimi this season before the QMJHL instituted another temporary shutdown. He has eight points in four games.