Expectation is tricky area in hockey. It can force a player to rise above any heights they ever imagined. It can also cause the player to crumble under the pressure. For Sarah Lefort, crumbling is not an option.
After being drafted in the first round by Les Canadiennes de Montreal, Lefort became one of the team's best-ranked prospects to start the 2016-17 season. And to say that she's lived up to expectations would be somewhat of an understatement.
In the first four games of the season, Lefort has 4 points (3G, 1A), and shows no signs of slowing down. She is ranked third overall (league-wide) in scoring, behind only Toronto's Natalie Spooner and her own teammate Marie-Philip Poulin. That puts Lefort at the top of the league in scoring among rookies. This all followed a four-goal performance in a single preseason game against the University of Montreal. This season, she's already helped Les Canadiennes start the season 4-0, and reclaim their spot atop the CWHL.
It's no surprise that Les Canadiennes are once again a dominant team this season. But the fact that, after a record-breaking season, they were able to draft a player who would go onto make a difference on their roster right away is truly remarkable. Lefort has a chance to not only help Montreal make it to another Clarkson Cup, but also to establish herself as a star in the CWHL.
The expectations placed on Lefort didn't come out of nowhere. Before she was drafted this summer, she broke the all-time scoring record for Boston University (previously held by Poulin). In 146 career games at BU, she registered 183 points (92G, 91A). When you're breaking Poulin's records, people will take notice.
And take notice they did. It's no doubt Les Canadiennes are happy with their first-round choice in this year's draft, as Lefort looks to continue her dominance among CWHL rookies going forward.