Monday, June 26, 2017

NHL Draft Notes: Off year for the QMJHL

As most of you have probably heard, it was not a great 2017 NHL Draft for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Just 14 players were chosen overall with only five of those picks coming in the first two rounds. Only 14 QMJHL players were picked in the 2016 NHL Draft as well, which was a sharp decline from the 30 taken in 2015.

As you can see from the numbers tweeted out by RDS' Stephane Leroux, the QMJHL has become hot and cold in recent years, either having having a very good year or very poor. The 2017 Draft could be another bounce back year for the league, so that's good.

Here's the full list of QMJHL players chosen:

1. Nico Hischier (Halifax Mooseheads) – New Jersey Devils
23. Pierre-Olivier Joseph (Charlottetown Islanders) – Arizona Coyotes
50. Maxime Comtois (Victoriaville Tigres) – Anaheim Ducks
51. Zachary Lauzon (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies) – Pittsburgh Penguins
60. Antoine Morand (Acadie-Bathurst Titan) – Anaheim Ducks
121. Drake Batherson (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles) – Ottawa Senators
130. David Noel (Val-d’Or Foreurs) – St. Louis Blues
136. Leon Gawanke (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles) – Winnipeg Jets
165. Arnaud Durandeau (Halifax Mooseheads) – New York Islanders
171. D’Artagnan Joly (Baie-Comeau Drakkar) – Calgary Flames
173. Cedric Pare (Saint John Sea Dogs) – Boston Bruins
176. Pavel Koltygin (Drummondville Voltigeurs) – Nashville Predators
191. Jocktan Chainey (Halifax Mooseheads) – New Jersey Devils
212. Ivan Chekhovich (Baie-Comeau Drakkar) – San Jose Sharks

Something else was noticeable this year:
This also marked the second straight year the Montreal Canadiens did not choose any Quebec-born players, which is - rightly or wrongly - something a lot of people care about.

One More Blow

There were also 40 players taken from the USHL this season (including seven in the first round), which was a record total.

Three Dogs picks drafted

Along with Shane Bowers being selected in the first round, the Sea Dogs had two other draft picks taken this year. The New York Islanders picked defenceman Ben Mirageas in the third round (77th overall) while the New York Rangers took forward Morgan Barron in the sixth round (174th overall).

Mirageas, a Massachusetts native, was a ninth round pick of the Sea Dogs in 2015. He spent this past season in the USHL with the Bloomington Thunder and Chicago Steel. He is committed to Providence College for 2018-19.

Barron, a Halifax native, was a fourth round pick of Saint John in 2015. He spent the past season at St. Andrew's College in Ontario while also playing a few games with the USHL's Sioux City Musketeers. He is committed to Cornell for this coming season. Barron was recently announced as part of Cornell's freshman class for 2017-18, so it seems very unlikely he'll be reporting to Saint John this year.

Pare on the Bruins

On Saturday, Cedric Pare became the second Sea Dogs player in franchise history to be picked by the Boston Bruins. Jakub Zboril, a first round pick of the Bruins in 2015 and Pare's teammate this past season, was the other.

"He's a good guy and he's a good friend, too," Pare told the Bruins website about Zboril. "I'm excited to go to Boston and to meet him there, too."

Bruins assistant general manager Scott Bradley spoke to the Providence Journal about Pare's upcoming season.

“He didn’t have great numbers, but he had limited minutes, playing on the fourth line,” Bradley said. “I think this year he’ll be one of their top guys, one of their top six forwards. He’ll get a lot of ice time, and hopefully some good development.”

The Bruins have yet to announce details about their development camp.

BU at it again

Oh, those Terriers.
As USCHO reports, Boston University had seven players - either current or committed - taken in the NHL Draft, which was the most of any NCAA team. That number includes Sea Dogs draft pick Shane Bowers, who is committed to BU for this coming season.

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