Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Who could Sea Dogs take at No. 11?

By Kevin Chambers | SN Staff

With the 2016 QMJHL Entry Draft quickly approaching, we decided to take a look at 10 top prospects who could be around when Saint John makes its first selection - assuming they hold on to the 11th overall pick.

(Note: this is not a ranking of all top players, just players who could be around when the Sea Dogs select)

1. Bowers, Shane
C – Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL) - 6’0” and 176 lbs

Bowers is well known from last year's QMJHL Entry Draft. He has been made available once again this year with Cape Breton accepting the ninth overall selection as compensation. Bowers projects as an excellent two-way forward with outstanding vision. His shot is equally quick, accurate and deceptive. Bowers has the ability to make all those around him better.

2. Bucheler, Jeremie
RD – Lac St-Louis Lions (LHMAAAQ) – 6’2” and 180 lbs

Bucheler has exceptional hockey sense along with an excellent first pass. He has good size – and just needs to fill out his frame more. He has the potential to be a team's top power play quarterback with his vision and good low shot. He makes intelligent decisions under pressure and is seemingly unfazed by the pressure of an opponents forwards baring down on him. His potential and overall game is what pushed him to being one of the top defenders available.

3. Bouchard, Xavier
RD – Forestier D’Amos (LHMAAAQ) – 6’1” and 160 lbs

Bouchard should be familiar with the QMJHL as he’s the son of current Rouyn-Noranda Huskies head coach Gilles Bouchard. Xavier might be gone by Saint John’s pick, as he could be the best pure offensive defenseman in the draft. Something that shouldn't be overlooked is the fact that he does this with a right handed shot which is often a hot commodity. Bouchard has excellent wheels and loves to rush the puck. He’s a future power play quarterback in the making.

4. Laferriere, Mathias
RW – Lions du Lac St-Louis (LHMAAAQ) – 5’11” and 151 lbs

If there is one thing scouts love it's to see a player progress throughout a season. Few, if any, have shown as much of an improvement as Laferriere. He has an excellent wrist shot matched by a very quick release to go with it. He has shown a real knack for scoring big goals for his team and was named the MVP of the Telus Cup.

5. Coxhead, Andrew
RW – Dartmouth Steel Subaru (NSMMHL) – 6’1” and 180 lbs

Coxhead is a player that will bring it every single shift in all areas of the ice. He projects as a power forward at the next level, knowing how to use his size to gain space and get into those high scoring areas. He's underrated when it comes to his skills with the puck, once again using his size to protect the puck from his opponent.

6. MacDonald, Anderson
LW – Saint-John Vito’s (NBPEIMMHL) – 6’0” and 204 lbs

MacDonald is the biggest and probably the strongest in our top 10. Like Coxhead, he projects to be a very good power forward in the QMJHL. MacDonald has the rare ability to play a power game while doing so at a high rate of speed. He can maintain his top speed while holding control of the puck and not miss a step. MacDonald is a player that wants the puck on his stick in the big moments of a game.

7. Dobson, Noah
RD – EC Red Bull Salzburg (RBHRC U18) – 6’0” and 155 lbs

The Prince Edward Island native spent last season in Europe playing with the Red Bull Hockey Academy. Dobson projects to be a very good two-way defender with excellent speed. He has the ability the rush the puck up ice quickly. Dobson is very confident with the puck on his stick and doesn't rush his decision making, showing very good hockey sense.

8. Bernard, Xavier
LD – Ch√Ęteauguay Grenadiers (LHMAAAQ) – 6’02” and 187 lbs

Regarded as one of the best two-way defenders in this draft class, Bernard has very good size with an impressive wingspan to go with it. Being a bigger defenseman doesn't stop Bernard from being able to keep pace with most faster forwards. Bernard is not an overly flashy player yet makes the simple and intelligent plays.

9. Mathieu, Olivier
LW – Cantonniers de Magog (LHMAAAQ) – 5’8” and 154

Mathieu finished second in points and first in goals among rookies in the Quebec Midget AAA Hockey League this past season. Mathieu has a very good hockey IQ. His wrist shot is hard with pin point accuracy. He may not have the biggest frame, but Mathieu is the type of player that plays much bigger than his size would indicate.

10. Desgagnes, Mathieu
C/LW – Ch√Ęteauguay Grenadiers (LHMAAAQ) – 5’08” and 161 lbs

Desgagnes is a highly skilled offensive minded forward. He's also a very versatile forward that can play centre, wing and spend time manning the point on the power play or penalty kill. It's worth noting that Desgagnes finished just two points behind potential No. 1 pick Benoit-Olivier Groulx.

We’d like to thank the guys at HockeyProspect.com who provided a lot of detailed information about these prospects. We recommend their draft guide for anyone who's interested in very detailed information on these and 190 other potential QMJHL draftees.

Photo via USHL website

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