Sea Dogs captain Jonathan Huberdeau is one of the players featured on the cover of the 2012-13 QMJHL Media Guide. The guide can be downloaded for free on the QMJHL website.
“It features the list of all the players, coaches and goaltenders that are in the League this season with their statistics,” states the league website. “It also presents the leaders of all categories from last season, for the regular season, the playoffs and the MasterCard Memorial Cup. This season, the front page was dedicated to two great championship teams in 2011-12, the Shawinigan Cataractes and the Saint John Sea Dogs.”
Sportsnet.ca had an article on the Sea Dogs following Thursday’s home opener at Harbour Station. The article discusses the team’s transition season and the return of Huberdeau.
“Fans in Saint John now need a program to identify the players on the ice,” writes Patrick King. “In some cases, the numbers are the same but the players wearing them, for the first time in years, are different. Numbers 7 and 28 used to read 'Phillips' and 'Beaulieu' but now they adorn the names ‘Izacky’ and ‘Repe.’”
Also in the article, Sea Dogs head coach Mike Kelly says that “it's going to take five to 10 games for us to figure out pretty decent combinations, but that's normal. There's 12 new guys in the lineup."
NHL Central Scouting released their September rankings for the 2012-13 Draft earlier this week. Not surprisingly, the Halifax Mooseheads trio of stars – Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin, and Zach Fucale – are all listed as “A” prospects in the QMJHL section.
A pair of Seas Dogs forwards – Stephen Anderson and Oliver Cooper – are listed as “C Skaters.”
Cooper has a goal in two games so far this season while Anderson has yet to get on the board. Cooper recorded 10 goals and 14 assists in 60 games with Saint John last year while Anderson - who spent most of the year in Summerside - had six goals and 10 assists in 26 games with the Dogs.
According to Thursday’s Telegraph-Journal, Sea Dogs forward Stephen MacAulay and defenseman Kevin Gagne have both been invited to Hamilton Bulldogs training camp. The Bulldogs are the AHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens.
The two veterans are scheduled to depart this Thursday, reports the T-J.
Gagne and MacAulay have each recorded a goal and two assists in two games so far this season.
Willy Palov of the Chronicle Herald has the Sea Dogs finishing seventh overall in the league, higher than most other “experts” have them finishing.
“A week ago I would have ranked the Sea Dogs outside the top 10 but then the NHL locked its players out and Jonathan Huberdeau was returned to junior for one more year,” writes Palov. “If the labour dispute lasts all season, Huberdeau makes the Sea Dogs a real threat. If the sides reach an agreement and he leaves for the NHL, Saint John becomes average.”
Mikael Lalancette of TVA Sports predicts the Sea Dogs to finish fourth in the Maritimes Division. He wonders how the fan support will change in Saint John after three straight years of unreal hockey.
CBC New Brunswick had a feature on the Sea Dogs’ upcoming season earlier this week. Video of that can be seen here.
Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus released his list of the NHL’s Top 100 prospects on Wednesday. Several former and current Sea Dogs made the list.
5. Jonathan Huberdeau
29. Stanislav Galiev
44. Tomas Jurco
48. Charlie Coyle
53. Zack Phillips
57. Nathan Beaulieu
68. Simon Despres
Eric Gelinas just missed the cut for the list.
RotoWorld.com lists Jonathan Huberdeau as one of the players to watch in the CHL during the lockout.
“The third overall pick in the 2011 draft is considered to be one of the favorites for the Calder Trophy this year, so getting into game shape at the junior level won't hinder his progress,” writes Corey Abbott. “In five pre-season appearances with the Panthers last year he led the team in scoring with three goals and one assist.”
First Round Bust, a Minnesota Wild prospects blog, lists Zack Phillips as the ninth best prospect in the Minnesota Wild system.
“There's a lot of talent when it comes to Phillips and it should be no surprise to see him higher on other lists or in a top-six NHL role,” writes Nathan Wells. “However with Minnesota's talented drafts and pipeline, the uncertainty over reaching his ceiling drops him in our eyes.”
If you ever wanted to know what Charlie Coyle's thoughts were on visors…
“I don’t mind the half shield,” Coyle told HockeyFamilyAdvisor.com. “Obviously, it’s a little more dangerous. It’s easier to see with the half shield than the cage with bars hanging out in front of your face.”