Saturday, May 31, 2014

Who Did Saint John Pick Today?

SHERBROOKE, Que. – It was a busy QMJHL Entry Draft for the Saint John Sea Dogs.

In total, the Sea Dogs drafted 14 players. That number includes two picks in the first round and three in the top 22 selections.

Saint John had the top pick of the draft and selected defenseman Luke Green. Later on in the opening round, with the 15th overall pick, the Sea Dogs took forward Julien Tessier. Info on those two can be found in separate posts here and here.

Here is a look at Saint John’s other picks.

Second round, 22nd overall - Matt Green
The Sea Dogs didn’t waste much time in snagging 16-year old Matt Green, the twin brother of Luke.

Matt, a 5’10" and 151 lbs forward, had 14 goals and 24 assists in in 34 games with Newbridge Academy of the Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League last season. He added another five goals and 12 assists in 17 playoff games. His 34 points was good for fourth in NSMMHL rookie scoring.

He also had a solid Gatorade Excellence Challenge with Team Nova Scotia, registering five goals and an assist in five games.

Matt was ranked 52nd by QMJHL Central Scouting and 36th by

“Matt is a great skater who is able to use all edges with ease and at full speed,” writes “He is slippery in traffic, and can show some real agility with and without the puck. Offensively, he really enjoys using the periphery as his playground, seeking linemates in seams to pass to and can be extremely accurate, with perfect timing. Matt plays a great switch game, preferring that and give-and-go situation to a cycle game. His puck control is elite and on par with his brother.”

Fourth round, 59th overall – Ryan Kenny
Kenny is a big 16-year old forward who played with the Miramichi Rivermen of the NB/PEI Major Midget Hockey League last season. Listed at 6’2”, 196 lbs, Kenny recorded four goals, six assists, and 104 penalty minutes in 34 games with the Rivermen. He added an assist in four playoff games.

The Bathurst native played with Team New Brunswick at the Gatorade Excellence Challenge where he recorded a goal and two assists in five games.

“Kenny is a big, tall forward who displayed a strong power-forward skating style,” writes in their draft guide. “Kenny is more of a patient player, looking for opportunities and reading the play. He has a good skillset with the puck and can handle it while skating in traffic as well.”

Kenny was ranked 49th by

Fourth round, 67th overall – Declan Smith
Smith is a 16-year old forward who played with the Cape Breton West Islanders of the NSMMHL last season. The Antigonish native registered 12 goals and nine assists in 30 games and added another goal and assist in five playoff games.

Listed at 5’10” and 155 lbs, Smith also had a goal in five games with Team NS at the Gatorade Challenge.

“Smith always seems to have a jumpy bounce to his stride at times when he is generating speed and has excellent mobility, footspeed and edge strength,” writes in their draft guide. “With this toolset, he also displayed very good puck control in traffic and a good hard snapshot, displaying the synergy that is needed of a top-end forward.”

Smith was ranked 66th by Central Scouting and 64th by

Fifth round, 91st overall – Jake Massie
The Sea Dogs traded a 2015 fourth round pick (originally Gatineau’s) to Rouyn-Noranda in exchange for the 91st overall pick. With the selection, Saint John drafted defenseman Jake Massie who played for John Rennie High School in Quebec last season.

In 30 games, the 6’2, 165 lbs defender recorded nine goals and 14 assists.

Seventh round, 113th overall – Monte Graham
The Dogs picked 16-year old Hanover, Massachusetts native Monte Graham in the seventh round. Graham is a forward listed at 5’11” and 165 lbs. He played 26 games with Thayer Academy (where Charlie Coyle once played) last season, recording nine goals and 12 assists. He also scored four goals and seven assists in 12 games with the Cape Cod Whalers Under-16 team last year.

Eighth round, 131st overall – Cody Grant
In the eighth round, Saint John picked 16-year old defenseman Cody Grant from the Halifax Macs of the NSMMHL. In 30 games last season, the 6’1”, 168lbs Bedford native recorded four goals and four assists. He added a goal and three assists in 16 playoff games.

Eighth round, 145th overall – Marshall Rifai
The Dogs moved a 2016 sixth round pick to Bathurst in exchange for the 145th overall pick where they selected defenseman Marshall Rifai from the Lac St-Louis Tigers of the Espoir league. In 17 games, Rifai had two goals and 14 assists and another three goals and three assists in seven playoff games.

Rifai also played seven games with the Tigers in 2012-13, the year they were captained by Samuel Dove-McFalls.

Rifai is listed as 5’7” and 136 lbs.

Ninth round, 149th overall – Kyle Ward
In the ninth round, the Sea Dogs were able to snag Moncton Flyers forward Kyle Ward. The 1997 born Ward had 11 goals and 17 assists in 28 NB/PEI Major Midget Hockey League games last season and added another seven goals and two assists in the playoffs.

Ward also played five games with Team Atlantic at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and registered two goals.

The 5’11”, 179 lbs skater was ranked as a third round pick by Central Scouting and 118th by

“He will show as a very North-South player that can get in your face in a hurry with very good skating speed, but who can also use his agility to create time and space for himself,” writes “He creates many turnovers and is an excellent penalty killer.”

11th round, 185th overall – Blade Mann-Dixon
Saint John waited until the 11th round to select a goaltender. The club picked the awesomely named Blade Mann-Dixon from the Maritime Junior ‘A’ Hockey League’s Valley Wildcats 185th overall.

The 17-year old was the first overall pick in last year’s MHL Draft and went on to win the MHL Rookie of the Year award. In 34 games with the Wildcats he posted a 3.33 goals against average and a .914 save percentage. He also played for Team Atlantic at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and posted a 4.34 GAA and .879 SV%.

Listed at 5’7” and 136 lbs, he is smaller than Sebastien Auger.

“Blade plays an aggressive style in goal to compensate for his lack of size,” writes “He is technically sound and poised when the net is crowded with traffic. His rebound control allows him to stay outside the blue paint and he take angles away from shooters. His hot glove hand shows his many years of being handy on the baseball field, his greatest asset. At a time where the trend in drafting goalies is ‘the bigger the better,’ Blade Mann-Dixon does everything in his power to debunk that trend.”

Mann-Dixon was ranked 123rd by and was projected to be a ninth  to 12th round pick by Central Scouting.

12th round, 203rd overall – Alexandre Joncas
In the 12th round, Saint John picked centre Alexandre Joncas from Antoine-Girouard of the Quebec Midget AAA League. In 42 games last season, the 17-year old registered six goals and 12 assists. He is listed as 6’2” and 187 lbs.

13th round, 221st overall – Francis Theriault
Francis Theriault of the MHL’s Campbellton Tigers was Saint John’s final Canadian pick of the draft. The 17-year old played in 49 games with the Tigers last season and recorded six goals and 12 assists. With Team Atlantic at the U-17 Challenge, he had two assists in five games. He is listed as 5’9” and 160 lbs.

14th round, 239th overall – Lincoln Griffin
With their last pick, the Dogs selected Walpole, Massachusetts native Lincoln Griffin. The 17-year old is a Northeastern University commit. He comes from the Thayer Academy high school program like Monte Graham.

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