Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Sea Dogs face some NCAA battles

SAINT JOHN - Trevor Georgie was quick with his answer when asked about Lynden Breen's commitment to the University of Maine.

"Lynden Breen will play for the Saint John Sea Dogs," said Georgie.

The Sea Dogs' president and general manager swung a deal in the fourth round of Saturday's QMJHL Entry Draft at Harbour Station, sending three 2018 draft picks (a fourth, a fifth and a seventh) to the Rimouski Oceanic in exchange for two fifth-round picks. With the 83rd overall selection, the Sea Dogs selected the Grand Bay-Westfield native.

It was nearly a year ago that reports surfaced of Breen's commitment to the NCAA's Maine Black Bears.
Breen spent last season playing high school hockey in the US, putting up 22 goals and 27 assists in 34 games at New Hampton. He was a fifth-round pick of the Bloomington Thunder a few weeks ago in the USHL Draft. While these are certainly signs of a player committed to NCAA hockey, Breen was also in attendance at Saturday's draft and put on his Sea Dogs jersey after being selected, something a lot of college commits do not do.

Not long after being picked, Breen tweeted about the selection.
With the Sea Dogs losing so many forwards, there's a good chance Breen can make the 2017-18 Sea Dogs.

Breen was ranked 47th by Hockey Prospect and a sixth-to-eighth round pick by QMJHL Central Scouting. Many prospect followers believe the low ranking by Central Scouting was a result of limited viewings.

The Sea Dogs don't have a long history of recruitment battles with Maine, which is a bit surprising given the geographical proximity of the two. Kevin Gagne, a New Brunswicker like Breen, was once a Maine commit, but that's about it.

Saint John drafted their two American players in the 12th-round on Saturday, choosing forwards Patrick Moynihan and Robby Griffin. Both are already committed to NCAA Hockey East programs.

Moynihan, a 16-year-old from Millis, Mass., recorded 16 goals and 19 assists in 27 games with the Noble & Greenough School last season. He is committed to the USA Hockey development program in Plymouth next season and Boston College for 2019-20, according to Elite Prospects.

Griffin, a 16-year-old from Burlington, Mass., registered 14 goals and 33 assists in 28 games with the Boston Jr. Bruins last season, a team the Sea Dogs have picked from before. According to Elite Prospects, Griffin is committed to Northeastern University for 2020-21.

Despite the Sea Dogs being widely considered an upper-tier QMJHL club that players want to play for, the team has had very limited success in attracting American players. Perhaps the Dogs can start to turn that around in the next few seasons with more roster spots up for grabs.

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