Sunday, June 4, 2017

Notebook: Saint John puts on a show

SAINT JOHN - There was a great crowd to watch the QMJHL Entry Daft at Harbour Station on Saturday.

Both the lower and upper bowls were mostly filled with players, family and fans. The crowd thinned as the day went on, but there was a solid atmosphere for the first round. As the crowd thinned and the draft went on, the cheers from player's families got a lot louder, which was cool.

Other than Sea Dogs fans, there were plenty of Moncton fans in attendance. Every time Moncton took the stage in the opening round there was a mix of cheers and boos.

Reviews of Saturday's draft from fans and media have been overwhelmingly positive.

Here's hoping Saint John's first time hosting the draft is not the last.

This wasn't the greatest of first rounds for Atlantic Canadian talent.

Newfoundland's Dawson Mercer was the first non-Quebec born player selected, going eighth overall to the Drummondville Voltigeurs.

Other Atlantic players taken in the first 19 selections were Bailey Peach (11th - Sherbrooke), Justin Barron (13th - Halifax), Noah Laaouan (14th - Cape Breton) and Jaxom Bellamy (16th - Moncton).

To the surprise of nobody, Alexis Lafreniere was taken first overall by the Oceanic. Here he is heading to the stage:
It was no surprise to see the Phoenix select Samuel Poulin with the second overall pick - especially given these family connections.
Tommy DaSilva was the first goaltender taken in this year's draft, going 36th overall to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

Saint John drafted just one goaltender - Stewart Bagnell from the Dartmouth Steele Subaru Major Midgets - in eighth round.

Last year, the Sea Dogs selected just one goaltender as well, taking Bangor's Derek Fournier in the 13th round.

Saint John selected 15 players on Saturday, opting to pass on their final two selections. The Dogs took 12 forwards, two defencemen and one goaltender.

Saint John used their first pick to select a defenceman, which they have done plenty of times before. Brendan Sibley joins Alex Grant (2005), Yann Sauve (2006), Simon Despres (2007), Kevin Gagne (2008), Pierre Durepos (2009), and Luke Green (2014) as d-men who the Sea Dogs used their first pick of the draft to select.

The Sea Dogs seem to like the Dartmouth Steele Subaru Major Midgets. Saint John drafted four players - Sibley, Stewart Bagnell, Luke Wilson, and Daniel Surette - from Dartmouth.

Saint John also picked two players from the Moncton Flyers - Aiden MacIntosh and Jeremie Jacob.

According to multiple people, former Sea Dogs general manager Darrell Young, fired by the Sea Dogs last year, was sitting at the Moncton Wildcats draft table. His official position with the team is unknown/unconfirmed at this time.

UPDATE: We are now told Young was not at the Wildcats table, but was in the building. He is believed to be working with the Wildcats in some capacity.

Photo: Vincent Either/QMJHL

1 comment:

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