Tuesday, June 30, 2015

More D-Men On The Way

The Saint John Sea Dogs added some more bodies to their backend during today’s CHL Import Draft.

With the 25th overall pick – which was actually 24th with Cape Breton passing – the Sea Dogs selected 6’5”, 213 lbs defenseman Oliver Felixson.

Felixson, from Finland, recorded 10 goals and 27 assists in 44 games with the HIFK under-18 team last season. He also had an assist in three games with the under-20 squad.

At the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, Felixson had two assists in six games.

The 17-year-old is eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft.

Monday, June 29, 2015

The CHL Import Draft Is Tomorrow

The drafts aren’t over just yet.

The 2015 CHL Import Draft takes place tomorrow beginning at noon Atlantic time. The QMJHL leads the rotation this year, meaning the Acadie-Bathurst Titan will select first overall.

Last year, the Sea Dogs iced defenseman Jakub Zboril and forward Juraj Siska as the team’s imports. General manager Darrell Young told The Pipeline Show earlier this month that Siska will not be returning for the 2015-16 season, opening up an import spot.

“We felt that, he being a 19-year-old, he wasn’t going to have enough impact to improve our club next year and take up ice time from a younger hockey player,” said Young.

Unless Zboril cracks the Boston Bruins roster this fall – which isn’t overly likely – he will be back, giving Saint John one open import slot. Each CHL team has two picks in the two-round draft. Saint John’s picks are at 25 and 85 overall.

“We’ve been working on a player since last November,” said Young about their first pick. “He’s committed to coming to us as long as he slides to 25 and no one else picks him in front of us.”

“We have a couple players pegged for our second pick that we’re hoping are going to be there.”

Saint John selected Zboril fifth overall in last year’s Import Draft and ended up being a first round NHL draft pick last weekend. Young said he’s hoping to draft a player like Zboril who can add an immediate impact.

The Sea Dogs also picked forward Nikita Li in last year’s draft, but ultimately chose to keep Siska for the season. Li was later picked up by the Victoriaville Tigres.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Sunday, June 28, 2015

NHL Folks Discover "Dove-McFalls"

Samuel Dove-McFalls: good player, good name. Here’s how the Internet reacted to the Philadelphia Flyers drafting the Sea Dogs forward in the fourth round of the NHL Draft on Saturday.

I’m sure Dove-McFalls has heard none of these before. None.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Noel, Webster Receive Camp Invites

As expected, it didn’t take long for Nathan Noel to receive an invite to an NHL development camp.

Noel, who surprisingly went undrafted at this weekend’s NHL Draft, has accepted an invite to attend Anaheim Ducks development camp. According to Grant McCagg of McKeen’s Hockey, a few teams invited Noel to camp - including the Montreal Canadiens who have been known to invite a ton of undrafted QMJHL players in recent years – but Noel ultimately chose Anaheim.

The 18-year-old centre from St. John’s was ranked 54th amongst North American players by NHL Central Scouting, 78th by HockeyProspect.com and 119th by ISS. He was one of the biggest surprises to be passed over in this year’s draft.

Noel had this to say on Twitter today:
Sea Dogs defenseman Bailey Webster, who also went undrafted this weekend, has tweeted that he has been invited to Habs development camp.
Webster, who had one goal and five assists in 54 games with Saint John last year, was ranked 122nd by Central Scouting and 143rd by HockeyProspect.com.

Also undrafted today were defensemen Jack vanBoekel and Jason Bell. Both were ranked by Central Scouting.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Five More Dogs Drafted Into NHL

An impressive five Sea Dogs were selected today at the NHL Draft, giving the team a franchise record setting seven players in total drafted this weekend.

Less than 24 hours after defensemen Jakub Zboril and Thomas Chabot were selected in the first round, five forwards were taken in rounds 2-7. They are as follows:

4th round, 98th overall – Philadelphia Flyers: Samuel Dove-McFalls
4th round, 120th overall – Tampa Bay Lightning: Mathieu Jospeh
5th round, 138th overall – Carolina Hurricanes: Spencer Smallman
6th round, 180th overall – Tampa Bay Lightning: Bokondji Imama
7th round, 200th overall – Detroit Red Wings: Adam Marsh

This is the first time the Flyers, Lightning and Hurricanes have drafted players from Saint John. However, Danick Gauthier signed with the Lightning as a free agent while he was still with the Sea Dogs.

The Red Wings previously selected Tomas Jurco from the Dogs in the second round of the 2011 draft.

Having seven players selected is an impressive accomplishment, but almost all the talk has been about one player who was not selected: forward Nathan Noel. He was ranked 54th amongst North American players by NHL Central Scouting, 78th by HockeyProspect.com and 119th by ISS. He’ll no doubt get a free agent invite to a camp somewhere.

Also selected today was 18-year-old defenseman and UMass-Amherst recruit Jake Massie. He was picked by the Sea Dogs in the fifth round of the 2014 QMJHL Entry Draft. The Hurricanes selected him in the sixth round.

Meanwhile, goaltender Joel Daccord, an Arizona State recruit and a late 2013 draft pick by the Sea Dogs, went in the seventh round to the Ottawa Senators.

Photo: TVA Sports

NHL Draft Continues Today

The NHL Draft continues this morning in Florida.

After two Saint John Sea Dogs were selected in the first round of the draft last night, a few more should be selected today. Rounds 2-7 begin this morning at 11 a.m. on NHL Network and TVA Sports.

Here are all the Sea Dogs that made NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings (excluding Zboril and Chabot):

54. Nathan Noel
55. Adam Marsh
70. Samuel Dove-McFalls
122. Bailey Webster
125. Mathieu Joseph
170. Spencer Smallman
180. Jack van Boekel
187. Jason Bell

The Sea Dogs’ team record for players taken in one draft is five, set in 2011.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Today's Front Pages

Thomas Chabot, drafted 18th overall by the Ottawa Senators last night, made the cover of today's Ottawa Sun.

Meanwhile, Bailey Webster appears on the cover of the Summerside Journal Pioneer sports section.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Zboril, Chabot Picked In First Round

Jakub Zboril is now a member of the Boston Bruins.

Zboril was taken 13th overall by the Bruins in the first round of tonight’s NHL Draft. The Bruins acquired the pick earlier in the day in a deal that sent Milan Lucic to the Los Angeles Kings.

In his rookie season with Saint John this past year, Zboril recorded 13 goals and 20 assists in 44 games. The Czech defenseman, drafted fifth overall by the Dogs in last year’s CHL Import Draft, was projected to be a mid to late first round pick.

It sounds like Zboril was pleased with the pick.
Zboril was the first of three straight picks made by the Bruins after a wild day of trades. Among those traded was offensive defenseman Dougie Hamilton.

Of course, Mitchell Dempsey, a Bruins prospect who is related to Boston general manager and St. Stephen native Don Sweeney, joined the Sea Dogs last year.

A few picks later at No. 18, the Ottawa Senators selected Sea Dogs defenseman Thomas Chabot.

Chabot had a breakout year in Saint John last season, posting 12 goals and 29 assists in 66 games. He climbed the draft rankings all year long and was projected to be a mid to late first round pick.
Chabot joins former Sea Dogs forward Mike Hoffman in the Senators organization.

This was the first year since 2011 that the Sea Dogs have had at least one player selected in the opening round. Also, Zboril going 13th makes him the second highest Sea Dog to ever be picked.

The NHL Draft continues tomorrow where a number of other Dogs should be chosen.

Two Dogs Should Be Drafted Tonight

Two Saint John Sea Dogs defensemen should be drafted into the National Hockey League tonight.

The first round of the NHL Draft takes place this evening at 8 p.m. on Sportsnet. Tonight will mark the first time since 2011 that the Sea Dogs have had a player taken in the opening round.

Both Jakub Zboril and Thomas Chabot are expected to be taken in the 15-30 range tonight. Most mock drafts seem to have them going to either the Boston Bruins, Winnipeg Jets, Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs or Edmonton Oilers. But, we’ll see what happens tonight.

This should be a strong draft for the Sea Dogs, as NHL.com noted a few weeks ago. Five Dogs were taken in the 2011 draft and that number could be matched or beaten this weekend.

Rounds 2-7 of the NHL Draft take place tomorrow.

Via the Sea Dogs website, here are all the Saint John players previously selected in the NHL Draft.

2006 - Felix Schutz - 4th round, 117th overall, Buffalo Sabres
2007 - Alex Grant - 4th round, 118th overall, Pittsburgh Penguins
2007 - Christopher DiDomenico - 6th round, 164th overall, Toronto Maple Leafs
2008 - Yann Sauve - 2nd round, 41st overall, Vancouver Canucks
2009 - Simon Despres - 1st round, 30th overall, Pittsburgh Penguins
2009 - Steven Anthony - 7th round, 187th overall, Vancouver Canucks
2010 - Stanislav Galiev - 3rd round, 86th overall, Washington Capitals
2010 - Stephen MacAulay - 6th round, 164th overall, St. Louis Blues
2011 - Jonathan Huberdeau - 1st round, 3rd overall, Florida Panthers
2011 - Nathan Beaulieu - 1st round, 17th overall, Montreal Canadiens
2011 - Zack Phillips - 1st round, 28th overall, Minnesota Wild
2011 - Tomas Jurco - 2nd round, 35th overall, Detroit Red Wings
2011 - Ryan Tesink - 6th round, 162nd overall, St. Louis Blues
2014 - Olivier LeBlanc - 7th round, 197th overall, Columbus Blue Jackets

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Hoffman Finishes 6th In Calder Voting

Former Sea Dogs forward Mike Hoffman finished sixth in the NHL's Calder Trophy voting. The award is presented annually to the league's rookie of the year.

Amongst the votes Hoffman received was one second place vote.
Hoffman played with Saint John during the 2009-10 season.

This past season was a breakout year for the 25-year-old, recording 27 goals and 21 assists in 79 games with the Ottawa Senators.

Meanwhile, former Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant placed 11th in the NHL’s Jack Adams Award voting. The award is presented annually to the league’s coach of the year.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Several Dogs Invited To Summer Camps

Sea Dogs of the past, present and future will be heading to Calgary at the end of July to take part in Hockey Canada’s National Teams’ Summer Showcase.

According to a press release, “the inaugural National Teams’ Summer Showcase marks the first time Hockey Canada has brought together all three of Canada’s national men’s programs in the same city at the same time. It will include Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp (40 players), Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team selection camp (43 players) and Canada’s national under-17 development camp (111 players).”

Receiving invites to Canada’s under-17 camp are goaltender Alex D’Orio and forward Joseph Veleno. Both were first round picks by the Sea Dogs in this year’s QMJHL Entry Draft.

Not surprisingly, Veleno, the first overall pick in this year’s draft after receiving exceptional player status by Hockey Canada, was the only 2000-born player invited.

The under-17 camp takes place July 29 – Aug. 4.

Saint John defenseman Luke Green has been invited to Canada’s under-18 camp. Green was the first overall pick in the 2014 QMJHL Entry Draft and is eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft.

Defenseman Sean Day, who was the last player to be given exceptional player status before Veleno, was also invited to the under-18 camp.

The under-18 camp takes place July 31 – Aug. 4.

No current Sea Dogs received an invite to Canada’s under-20 summer camp. There was one former Dog invited though as Olivier LeBlanc of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles got an invite.

The national junior team camp takes place Aug. 1-6.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Tremaine Heading To StFX

Like Sebastien Auger, Mark Tremaine will be taking his talents to the Canadian university ranks for the upcoming season.

The StFX X-Men officially announced today that Tremaine will join the team for the 2015-16 campaign. He was one of six recruits to be announced.

"Mark is a very high character individual, who is a very dependable two way player," said StFX head coach Brad Peddle in a release. "He was the captain this past year in Saint John and possesses very strong leadership qualities. His work ethic is highly regarded and he is a fierce competitor. Mark is a big, strong forward who will be counted on to provide an honest two-way game to our lineup. He is great addition and will fit into our group very well."

As an overage player last season, the Dartmouth native scored 14 goals and added 25 assists in 57 games with Saint John. He also had three goals and four assists in five playoff matches.

Tremaine was named captain of the Sea Dogs in January following the Olivier LeBlanc trade.

The centre played four seasons in the QMJHL with the Sea Dogs, Victoriaville Tigres and Moncton Wildcats.

Former Sea Dogs forward Michael Kirkpatrick has spent the past four seasons with StFX.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Sunday Games Are Dying

The Sea Dogs won’t be playing much on Sundays this season – especially at Harbour Station.

The 2015-16 QMJHL regular season schedule was released last week. Saint John’s home schedule is once again weekend-heavy with 22 games being played on either a Friday or Saturday. But only three will be played on Sunday afternoons.

In total, the Sea Dogs will play just eight Sunday games all season. The dates are listed below with home games in bold.

Sunday, Sept. 13 vs Moncton
Sunday, Sept. 27 at Bathurst
Sunday, Oct. 18 at Gatineau
Sunday, Oct. 25 at Moncton
Sunday, Jan. 3 at Cape Breton
Sunday, Jan. 10 vs Rimouski
Sunday, Feb. 14 vs Chicoutimi
Sunday, March 6 at Charlottetown

I don’t have the exact numbers, but it has certainly appeared that attendance for Sunday games at the Station has been declining for several years now. I’m not a fan of them, mainly because it’s hard to get excited for an afternoon tilt – and it certainly looks like the players feel the same way a lot of times.

Also, the decline of Sunday games should allow players to be home in time to start the school week, which I’m sure is important to the league.

With the fall of Sunday games, it appears Thursday games are on the rise. Saint John will play eight this year with seven taking place at Harbour Station.

Thursday, Oct. 22 vs Bathurst
Thursday, Nov. 12 vs Moncton
Thursday, Nov. 26 vs Quebec
Thursday, Dec. 17 vs Cape Breton
Thursday, Dec. 31 vs Charlottetown
Thursday, Jan. 21 at Charlottetown
Thursday, Feb. 25 vs Halifax
Thursday, March 3 vs Drummondville

Saint John will also play two pre-season games on Thursdays.

The Sea Dogs played five Thursday games last season.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Auger Joining UQTR Patriotes

Sebastien Auger will be playing in the Canadian university ranks this coming season.

The Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) Patriotes announced on Saturday that the former Saint John Sea Dogs goaltender has committed to the team for the 2015-16 campaign, according to Radio-Canada and L’Hebdo Journal.

The Patriotes are consistently one of the best hockey teams in the CIS. They appeared at the University Cup this season for the third time in four years, being eliminated in the semifinals by the eventual national champions, the Alberta Golden Bears.

Auger will join Francis Desrosiers in the UQTR crease, giving the school an impressive goaltending tandem.

The 21-year-old spent four years with the Sea Dogs, posting a 77-98 record to go along with a 3.14 goals against average and a .907 save percentage in the regular season. He was the team’s backup during the 2011-12 President Cup winning season and then served as the No. 1 during three rebuilding years. Despite playing on some bad teams, Auger managed to be one of the league’s best goaltenders.

Next year’s University Cup will once again take place at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Eight Dogs Taken In Supplementary Draft

62 players from the QMJHL were chosen, including eight from the Sea Dogs. Here are the Saint John players that were chosen:

County – Mitchell Dempsey
Amherst – Daniel Del Paggio
South Shore – Adam Bateman
Summerside – Adam Marsh
Truro – Braydon Blight
Campbellton – Jason Bell
Pictou County – Alex Bishop
Dieppe – Jack van Boekel

According to the league’s website, “players are sorted in order of selection by the respective MHL clubs. Order of clubs listed was based on the draft order for this season.”

The regular MHL Draft was also held yesterday and a number of Sea Dogs players and prospects were picked. Details on that can be found here. 

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Several Dogs Picked In Jr A Drafts

The MHL and QJHL both held their entry drafts this afternoon.

Several players who are Saint John Sea Dogs property were selected. Via The Q News – who have all of the QMJHL players taken today – here are the Sea Dogs that were selected in the MHL draft:

13th overall – Cody Grant – St. Stephen County – Saint John Sea Dogs
15th overall – Jonathan Mason – Woodstock – Saint John Sea Dogs
16th overall – Kallum Muirhead – Summerside – Saint John Sea Dogs
23rd overall – Ben Reid – St. Stephen County – Saint John Sea Dogs
50th overall – Chris Sarault – Summerside – Saint John Sea Dogs
77th overall – Matthew Green – Truro – Saint John Sea Dogs

Grant, Sarault and Green were all picked by Saint John in the 2014 QMJHL Entry Draft while Mason, Muirhead and Reid were all selected by the Dogs in last weekend’s draft.

The following were territorial picks
Ryan Kenny – Campbellton – Saint John Sea Dogs
Matthew Barron – Yarmouth – Saint John Sea Dogs
Samuel LeBlanc – Dieppe – Saint John Sea Dogs

Kenny was picked by Saint John last year and Barron and LeBlanc this year.

Also, this happened:
And in the QJHL draft:
38th overall - Alexandre Lafreniere - LES FLAMES de GATINEAU - Saint John
49th overall – William Aubry – COLLÈGE FRANÇAIS de LONGUEUIL – Saint John

Lafreniere was an 11th-round pick of the Dogs this year while Aubry was Saint John’s final pick (14th-round).

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Friday, June 12, 2015

2015-16 Schedule Released

The 2015-16 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League regular season schedule was released this afternoon.

The Saint John Sea Dogs will open up the regular season on Saturday, Sept. 12 at Harbour Station against the Halifax Mooseheads. They’ll host the Moncton Wildcats the following afternoon.

The Sea Dogs’ first road trip will take them to Nova Scotia where they’ll take on the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in Sydney on Sept. 18 and the Halifax Mooseheads at Scotiabank Centre on Sept. 19.

Other fun facts about the schedule:

  • Saint John’s first Quebec road swing will take them to Victoriaville, Blainville-Boisbriand and Gatineau from Oct. 16-18.
  • Danny Flynn makes his return to the Moncton Coliseum on Oct. 25.
  • The Sea Dogs will get their first look at Quebec City’s new arena, the Videotron Centre, on Nov. 7.
  • On New Year’s Eve, the Dogs will host the Charlottetown Islanders. That game is currently scheduled for 7 p.m.
  • Saint John’s final home game of the regular season will be on Saturday, March 12 against the Wildcats. Their final regular season game will be on March 19 in Sydney.

According to a Sea Dogs press release, 22 of Saint John’s 34 home games will take place on either a Friday or Saturday. Team president Wayne Long called it “the best home schedule we have had in our eleven years."

Like the past several years, Friday home games will begin at 7:30 p.m., Sunday games at 3 p.m. and all other games at 7 p.m.

The league’s pre-season schedule was released Wednesday.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Dogs Name New Assistant Coach

The Sea Dogs announced this afternoon that Paul Boutilier has been named one of the team’s assistant coaches.

Boutilier joined the team last season, working as the director of the Player Development & Analytics program.

From the Sea Dogs’ press release:

The Sydney, Nova Scotia, native played parts of three seasons in the QMJHL with the Sherbrooke/Saint-Jean Castors, posting 35 goals and 138 points in 151 games. He won the Emile Bouchard Trophy in 1982 as the QMJHL Defenceman of the Year and was a first-team all-star. That same year, he was part of Canada's first-ever gold-medal-winning entry at the World Junior Championship with a team of players compiled from clubs across the country.  
A 1981 first-round selection of the New York Islanders, Boutilier won a Stanley Cup with the club in 1983. He totaled 27 goals and 110 points in 288 NHL games over parts of eight seasons with the Islanders, Boston Bruins, Minnesota North Stars, New York Rangers and Winnipeg Jets, and added another ten points in 41 playoff contests. He also played 198 games in the American, Central and International Hockey Leagues, and two seasons in Switzerland.  
Boutilier has an extensive coaching background at the Canadian University level, including four years as head coach at Saint Mary's University and another four seasons as an assistant coach at Dalhousie University.  
Boutilier conceived a Defense Development Program (DDP) based on his coaching and playing experiences. He has used his program as a Defense Player Development coach with the Nashville Predators.

Sea Dogs general manager Darrell Young noted in the release that Boutilier will join head coach Danny Flynn, assistant coach Jeff Cowan and goaltending coach Jim Fleming on Saint John’s coaching staff.

The team will open training camp in August.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Pre-Season Schedule Is Out

The Saint John Sea Dogs will kick off the QMJHL pre-season on home ice.

The Sea Dogs will face the Acadie-Bathurst Titan at 7p.m. on Aug. 13  - a Thursday night - at Harbour Station to open up the league's exhibition season. They’ll then travel to Pownal, PEI on Saturday, Aug. 15 to take on the Charlottetown Islanders in an afternoon tilt.

The full QMJHL pre-season schedule was released today. In total, the Sea Dogs will play six exhibition games – one against Charlottetown, two against Bathurst and three against Moncton.

Here is the full schedule:

Thursday, Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. – vs Bathurst (Harbour Station)
Saturday, Aug. 15 at 2 p.m. – at Charlottetown (Pownal Sports Centre)
Friday, Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. – at Bathurst (KC Irving Regional Centre)
Saturday, Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. – vs Moncton (Harbour Station)
Thursday, Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. – vs Moncton (Harbour Station)
Friday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. – at Moncton (JK Irving Centre – Bouctouche)

No other details on the schedule have been released by the Sea Dogs.

The QMJHL’s regular season schedule has not yet been released.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

NOTEBOOK: Video From Draft Day

Via John Moore, here’s the Sea Dogs picking Joseph Veleno first overall on Saturday.

On the Sea Dogs website, they have videos with Veleno, general manager Darrell Young and head coach Danny Flynn.

The Sea Dogs had a fairly strong showing at the NHL Combine in Buffalo last week. From the Sea Dogs:

Dove-McFalls impressed by finishing tied for the strongest left-hand grip at 180 lbs. and posting the second-strongest right-hand grip at 175 lbs. 
Noel tied for third with 12 pull-ups - only two fewer than the top finisher. 
Joseph placed eighth in the grueling VO2 max bike test. 
Noel, Joseph and Chabot posted other top-ten ranks as well.

Adam Marsh and Jakub Zboril also took part in the combine.

The Hockey News has an article on the event, which includes a tidbit on Chabot.

As CSN New England reports, Jakub Zboril could be selected by the Boston Bruins at 14th overall in the NHL Draft.

McKeen’s Hockey released their final draft rankings last week. They have Jakub Zboril ranked 18th and Thomas Chabot ranked 21st.

Via Elite Prospects, HockeyProspect.com has released their final rankings. Chabot was ranked 20th and Zboril 25th.

Monday, June 8, 2015

D'Orio Invited To Hockey Canada Camp

Goaltender Alex D’Orio, drafted ninth overall by Saint John in Saturday’s QMJHL Entry Draft, has been invited to Hockey Canada’s annual Program of Excellence goaltending camp.

The camp takes place June 12-14 at Canlan Ice Sports in Etobicoke, Ont. 34 of the country’s best young goaltenders will be participating. They'll be split into three groups – under-20, under-18 and under-17.

D’Orio, 16, will be part of the under-17 group. In 23 games with the Quebec Midget AAA Hockey League's Magog Cantonniers last season, the Sherbrooke native posted a 2.30 goals against average and a .916 save percentage.

D’Orio, considered the second best netminder available in this year’s draft class, was indeed the second goaltender drafted on Saturday. Dereck Baribeau, who went fifth overall to the Val-d’Or Foreurs, was the top ‘tender taken and was also invited to this Hockey Canada camp.

Saint John Vito’s goaltender Jacob Stewart, a third-round pick of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, was invited as well.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Draft Day News & Notes

Some news and notes from draft day…
  • Hockey’s Future has a good take on the Sea Dogs taking Joseph Veleno and what it means for the team moving forward.
  • The Chronicle Herald recaps the Veleno selection.
  • The Sea Dogs website has some video on the Veleno selection.
  • Curious to hear why the Sea Dogs selected Cedric Pare so early. They are presumably big on him. He was projected to be a mid-second round pick by Central Scouting and HockeyProspect.com. Saint John didn’t have a second round pick, so that no doubt had some impact in the decision. Also, in fairness, HP has said that he's been steadily improving, and if that continues…
  • Still weird seeing Danny Flynn associated with the Sea Dogs.
  • There were three players from the Maritimes taken in the first round: Shane Bowers (4th), Peyton Hoyt (6th) and Keenan MacIsaac (19th). MacIsaac played at Rothesay Netherwood this past season.
  • There wasn’t a defenseman taken in the draft until 11th overall. There were only five taken in the first round.
  • The Sea Dogs used a Drummondville pick in 2009 to draft Jonathan Huberdeau. In this year’s draft they used a Drummondville pick to take Joseph Veleno. That’s got to be hard to swallow.
  • Hard to believe, given how many talented offensive players the Sea Dogs have had in their history, that this was the first time they used the first overall pick to take a forward.
  • Michael O’Leary, who the Screaming Eagles drafted 14th overall last year but were unable to get him to report, was taken in the third round by the Moncton Wildcats. He is committed to Cornell University for 2016-17.
  • A couple picks later, the Wildcats selected University of Maine recruit Ethan Crossman. In the 7th round, Moncton took Maine recruit Adam Dawe. Wildcats gonna Wildcat.
  • Pierre-Olivier Joseph, the younger brother of Sea Dogs forward Mathieu Joseph, was selected in the fifth round, 78th overall by the Charlottetown Islanders.
  • Vincent Martineau, drafted in the third round by Saint John, is the brother of Screaming Eagles forward Phelix Martineau.
  • Speaking of Marineau, he was HockeyProspect.com’s 16th top ranked prospect and Central Scouting's 33rd. Saint John picked him 51st overall.
  • TVA Sports had the broadcast rights to the draft this year and provided no “legal” stream, basically no pre-draft coverage and aired the first round and nothing more. Disappointing.
  • The draft finally returns to the Maritimes next year with Charlottetown hosting.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Breaking Down The 2015 Draft Class

SHERBROOKE, Que. – Another draft is in the books for the Saint John Sea Dogs.

The Sea Dogs drafted a total of 18 players on Saturday: 10 forwards, six defensemen and two goaltenders. Of those players, two of them are American.

Saint John drafted forward Joseph Veleno with the first overall pick and then picked up goaltender Alex D’Orio and Cedric Pare with the ninth and 10th overall picks, respectively.

The other players Saint John drafted? Here’s a look at those players.

Round 3 – 51st overall: D Vincent Martineau
Listed at 6’00” and 201 lbs, the 16-year old recorded three goals and 12 assists in 42 games with Collège Esther-Blondin Phénix of the Quebec Midget AAA Hockey League last season. Martineau was ranked 33rd by QMJHL Central Scouting and 16th by HockeyProspect.com.

“Martineau is one of the best right-handed defensemen from this draft class,” writes HockeyProspect.com.

“He plays well in one-on-one situations by closing his gap quickly. He rarely leaves a forward alone in the defensive zone, and brings them along the wall, where he’s able to retrieve the puck often. In transition, Martineau keeps his game simple by making quick, simple passes, but when he has free space in front of him he won’t hesitate to rush the puck in the offensive zone.”

Round 4 – 57th overall: F Morgan Barron
Barron was ranked 87th by Central Scouting. The 1998-born forward has spent the past two seasons with the Newbridge Academy Gladiators, meaning he is familiar with the Green brothers. This past season, the 6’00”, 166 lbs Halifax native had 17 goals and 25 assists in 34 games to go along with 24 points in 16 playoff games.          

Round 6 – 100th overall: D Pierre-Luc Lurette
The 6’02”, 183 lbs defenseman played in the MHL last season with the Campbellton Tigers, recording four goals and nine assists in 43 games. The 1998-born Lurette played AAA with the Miramichi Timberwolves the two seasons prior.

Round 6 – 107 overall: F Marc McLaughlin
The Sea Dogs sent a fourth-round pick in next year’s draft to the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in exchange for the 107th and 119th overall picks in this year’s draft.

With the 107th pick, Saint John selected Marc McLaughlin, the top ranked American forward available in this year’s draft according to HockeyProspect.com. The 5’10”, 177 lbs forward played at Cushing Academy lasy season.
“He is an emerging prospect who is committed to SLU and is staritng to bud a little more each season,” they write. “He plays strong on the puck and uses his body effectively. His best asset is probably his quick release shot.”

The 1999-born McLaughlin committed to St. Lawrence in February.

“He's not overly fast, but he's a strong skater with a presence on the ice,” writes Jeff Cox of SB Nation. “He's a good two-way player who will be a very good player in the future for the Saints. He's got all the physical tools, he sees the ice well and makes some very heady passes if not of the highlight reel variety.”

Draft Day Comes To An End

SHERBROOKE, Que. – The 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft has come to an end. Here are all of Saint John’s picks.

Round 1 - 1st overall – F Joseph Veleno (Lac St-Louis – AAA)
Round 1 - 9th overall – G Alex D’Orio (Magog – AAA)
Round 1 - 10th overall – F Cedric Pare (Levis – AAA)
Round 3 - 51st overall – D Vincent Martineau (Esther-Blondin – AAA)
Round 4 – 57th overall – F Morgan Barron (Newbridge – AAA)
Round 6 - 100th overall – D Pierre-Luc Lurette (Campbellton – MHL)
Round 6 – 107th overall – F Marc McLaughlin (Cushing – US Prep)
Round 7 – 119th overall – F Ben Reid (Saint John – AAA)
Round 8 – 143rd overall – F Kallum Muirhead (Charlottetown – AAA)
Round 9 - 154th overall – D Ben Mirageas (Avon – US Prep)
Round 9 - 159th overall – D Ian Smallwood (Notre Dame – AAA)
Round 10 - 172nd overall – F Thomas Morin (Beauce-Appalaches – Espoir)
Round 11 - 187th overall – D Jonathan Mason (Newbridge – AAA)
Round 11 - 190th overall - F Alexandre Lafreniere (Outaouais - Espoir)
Round 12 - 208th overall – D Matthew O’Leary (St. John’s – AAA)
Round 12 - 212th overall – G William Hardy-Murray (Quebec – Espoir)
Round 13 - 226th overall – F Samuel Leblanc (RNS)
Round 14 - 244th overall – F William Aubry (Charles-Lemoyne – Espoir)

The Sea Dogs made just two minor trades, sending a couple 2016 draft picks to Blainville-Boisbriand in exchange for a few additional picks in this year’s draft.

We’ll have a further breakdown of each player posted later.

Photo via Facebook

PASS/FAIL: Wildcats Anniversary Jersey

SHERBROOKE, Que. - The Moncton Wildcats have a new jersey for their upcoming 20th anniversary season.

This jersey... pass or fail?

REPORT: Bowers Not Going To Cape Breton [Update]

SHERBROOKE, Que. – The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles decided to take the risk and draft Shane Bowers with the fourth overall pick at Saturday's QMJHL Entry Draft.

Bowers went on stage and put on a Screaming Eagles jersey. It might be the only time he wears one.

From The Hockey News’ Ryan Kennedy:
It was reported before the draft that Bowers, a Halifax native, wanted to be selected by either Saint John or Halifax. It was also reported that the Sea Dogs were trying to move up in the draft, likely so they could take Bowers.

The Screaming Eagles used their timeout before taking the stage but still chose to draft the Halifax Macs forward.

Cape Breton did something similar last year, taking Michael O’Leary 14th overall. O’Leary never reported and the Screaming Eagles were compensated with the 19th overall pick in this year’s draft.


Sea Dogs Draft D'Orio, Pare

SHERBROOKE, Que. – The Saint John Sea Dogs did something on Saturday that many fans have been asking for years: draft a high end goaltender in the first round.

With the ninth overall pick in Saturday’s 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft, the Sea Dogs selected netminder Alex D’Orio.

The 6’1”, 193 lbs D’Orio was ranked 13th by QMJHL Central Scouting and eighth by HockeyProspect.com. He was considered the second best goaltender available in this year’s draft behind Dereck Baribeau who was taken fifth overall by the Val-d’Or Foreurs.

“He covers a lot of room in front of his net and moves well,” writes HockeyProspect.com. “His legs are powerful and he is fast to move in his crease. He has good rebound-control and plays well with traffic in front of him, as he challenges shooters and gets hit by a lot of pucks.”

Last season with Magog of the Quebec AAA ranks, he posted a 2.30 goals against average and a .916 save percentage in 23 games. He also played in three games with Team Quebec at the Canada Games.

Also of note, D’Orio catches with his right hand.

With the 10th overall selection, the Sea Dogs went off the board and selected forward Cedric Pare (pictured).

The 6’1”, 190 lbs left winger was ranked 27th by QMJHL Central Scouting and 29th by HockeyProspect.com. It’ll be interesting to hear what Sea Dogs general manager Darrell Young says about this pick.

HockeyProspect.com writes that he “lacks some explosiveness” but improved his game quite a bit over the past season and should continue to progress.

“As the season progressed, he gained confidence and his responsibility with his team also increased,” the website writes. “He became more involved physically late in the season, doing good work along the boards in the offensive and defensive zones. He showed more fierceness after being hit, but still won his one-on-one battles.”

In 41 games with Levis last season, Pare had six goals and seven assists in 41 games.

Saint John also selected first overall in the draft, picking Joseph Veleno.

Pick-by-pick results from this year's draft can be seen here.