Two members of the Saint John Sea Dogs have caught the eye of NHL Central Scouting.
Defenseman Olivier LeBlanc and forward Juraj Siska were each ranked as “C Skaters” amongst Quebec Major Junior Hockey League players eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft.
Central Scouting released their preliminary 2014 North American "ones to watch" earlier today. Moncton Wildcats import forward Ivan Barbashev is the top ranked player – and only one listed as an “A Skater” – in the QMJHL.
It’s no surprise to see LeBlanc on the list. Drafted in the first-round of the 2012 QMJHL Entry Draft, LeBlanc played calm, cool, and collected in his rookie season and registered four goals and 14 assists in 60 games. He’ll be a big part of this year’s defense core and has an assist in four games so far this season.
Meanwhile, we have no idea when Siska will play his first game with the Sea Dogs. The 17-year old Slovakian forward is recovering from a spinal cord injury.
“Juraj Siska is a big forward who can play a power game,” said Sea Dogs head coach and General Manager Mike Kelly after the Sea Dogs selected him ninth overall in the 2013 CHL Import Draft. “We know he is recovering from an injury that could potentially delay his arrival, but we felt it would be worth the wait. Those big forwards can dominate as 18 and 19 year olds and we feel he will compliment the speed and skill of the players we currently have. We are thrilled to have Juraj as part of the Sea Dog family.”
Siska played last season with HC Nitra in Slovakia’s Under-20 league. He registered a point-per-game in 27 contests, scoring 12 goals and adding 15 assists.
Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation