Thursday, June 30, 2016

Brown joining UOIT Ridgebacks

Former Sea Dogs forward Mackenzie Brown has committed to the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks.

Brown, a fourth round pick of the Sea Dogs in 2011, recorded five goals and six assists in 108 career games with Saint John during the 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.
Brown has spent the past two seasons with the MHL’s Woodstock Slammers. Last season, the 21-year-old registered 16 goals and 13 assists in 33 regular season contests. He added two goals and two assists in seven playoff games and three goals and an assist in five Fred Page Cup matches.

"We are excited to welcome Mackenzie as the newest member of the Ridgeback family," said Ridgebacks head coach Curtis Hodgins in a release. "Mackenzie is an excellent two-way player who skates very well and has good offensive skills. He comes highly recommended in terms of his character and work ethic and will fit in nicely with the values of our program."

The Ridgebacks begin OUA play in mid-September.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Sea Dogs have a new website

Did you know the Saint John Sea Dogs got a new website? Because they did.

The new Sea Dogs website launched last Friday. They were one of the final QMJHL teams to make the conversion to the new format, which all CHL web pages have switched to.

Stadium Digital is the company behind the new sites. Their clients include CFL teams, Soccer Canada, Golf Canada and others.

The new sites are more of a blog format and embedding things like tweets and video seems to be much easier.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Noel's drafting lights up Internet

There’s no question that Nathan Noel was one of the feel good stories of the NHL Draft.

Passed over in the 2015 draft, Noel was selected in the fourth round of this year’s draft by the Chicago Blackhawks.

This tweet alone solidified Noel’s story as a feel good one.

Dogs select Russian forward in Import Draft

The Sea Dogs selected a Russian forward with their first round pick in Tuesday’s CHL Import Draft.

With the 42nd overall pick – although two teams above them passed – Saint John picked 17-year-old Alexander Vdovenko. He recorded nine goals and 24 points in 34 games last season with the Vityaz Podolsk under-17 team in Russia.
According to a Sea Dogs press release, the Moscow native is 6'4" and 200 lbs. He plays centre and left wing.

"We're excited to bring Alexander into our organization," Sea Dogs general manager Darrell Young said in a release. "He's a smart, skilled, strong forward. He moves very well for a player of his size. We want to see how his game translates to North American ice."

Vdovenko is expected to join the team for training camp in August. The Sea Dogs currently have two import players on their roster in Oliver Felixson and Jakub Zboril. CHL teams are allowed to carry two imports.

The Sea Dogs didn’t use their second round pick. It’s the first time the team has drafted a forward since Nikita Li in 2014.

The WHL’s Kootenay Ice selected Russian forward Klim Kostin with the first overall pick. The Halifax Mooseheads made a splash with the sixth overall pick, taking Swiss forward Nico Hischier, who is known as the “Swiss McDavid.”

Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News has a good breakdown on the big picks from this year’s Import Draft.

Monday, June 27, 2016

CHL Import Draft happens Tuesday

The 2016 CHL Import Draft takes place on Tuesday at noon.

The Saint John Sea Dogs have two Europeans on their roster who are eligible to return next season – defensemen Jakub Zboril and Oliver Felixson – so the team doesn’t necessarily need to pick.

The Sea Dogs’ first pick is 42nd overall. Their second round pick is 102nd overall. Teams are no longer allowed to trade picks.

The WHL’s Kootenay Ice will select first followed by the OHL’s Guelph Storm and QMJHL’s Baie-Comeau Drakkar.

The Halifax Mooseheads will pick sixth, meaning a very talented import could be coming to the Maritimes Division next season.
The Sea Dogs have selected at least one player in each Import Draft since 2012. Last year, the team used both picks, taking Felixson at No. 25 and defenseman Frantisek Hrdinka at No. 85.

Hrdinka, who was ranked 104th amongst European skaters by NHL Central Scouting for the draft but not picked, spent last season playing in the Czech Republic.

The Import Draft can be followed on the CHL website.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Sunday, June 26, 2016

NHL development camp invites sent out

Embed from Getty Images
With the NHL Draft now complete, teams have begun to send out development camp invitations.

Sea Dogs forward Matthew Highmore received an invite to Montreal Canadiens development camp again this year, according to RDS.
However, the Telegraph-Journal (paywall) reports that Highmore has been invited to Florida Panthers camp. Either way, he’s going somewhere.

The 20-year-old had a career season with the Sea Dogs in 2015-16, recording 22 goals and 53 assists in 65 games. He added another nine goals and 11 assists in 17 playoff matches.

Meanwhile, former Dogs defenseman Matt Murphy has been invited to Anaheim Ducks camp.
Murphy, who played the second half of his final junior season with Saint John, had eight goals and 21 assists with the Dogs. He had another four goals and five assists in 17 playoff games – many of which were played through an injury.