Saturday, August 19, 2017

Notebook: Top prospects playing like top prospects

MONCTON – Many of the QMJHL's most promising rookies have played up to their potential so far at the 2017 QMJHL Rookie Challenge in Moncton.

On Friday, Xavier Parent (picked fourth overall in the 2017 QMJHL Entry Draft) and Justin Barron (13th overall) teamed up to score in overtime, giving the Halifax Mooseheads a 5-4 victory over the Saint John Sea Dogs. Barron had two goals in the game while Parent had an assist. On Saturday, Parent added a goal and two helpers in a Moose win.

Moncton's Jakob Pelletier (third overall) had an assist on Friday while Jaxon Bellamy (16th overall) scored the game-winner in the Wildcats' 5-3 victory over Cape Breton.

Cape Breton's Brooklyn Kalmikov (15th overall) had a goal and an assist on Friday.

The Sea Dogs announced Friday morning that draft pick Samuel Leblanc and free agent Nicholas Cardone had been added to the team’s Rookie Camp roster.

Interestingly, this is Cardone’s second QMJHL Rookie Challenge event, playing in last year’s tournament with the Charlottetown Islanders.

Cardone was an 11th-round pick of Charlottetown in the 2016 QMJHL Entry Draft and a fourth-round pick of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in 2015. He appeared in 16 games with the Sags in 2015-16 and spent last year in the QJAAAHL.

There haven't been a whole lot of publicly circulated rumours about the Sea Dogs' vacant head coaching position. But one of the rumours that was floating around involved former Niagara IceDogs head coach Marty Williamson.

It seems those rumours can be put to rest as Williamson has been named the interim head coach of the Brock Badgers men's hockey team.

“It’s just as exciting as when I got my first job in the OHL. Coaching is coaching and that part of it I feel confident with, but this is a little bit of a different animal,” said Williamson in a Brock University news release. “It has kind of come full circle. I coached minor hockey helping kids get to the OHL, then in the OHL for 12 years, and now I’ll be coaching guys who are at a different point in their career working on both academics and hockey.”

Following the Sea Dogs Par 3 Celebrity Challenge on Friday at Rockwood Park Golf Course, it was announced that Jonathan Huberdeau would be the first inductee into the team's new Hall of Fame.

From the release:
The Sea Dogs Hall of Fame is a year-long project that will open in the summer of 2018. It will feature a members’ wing and Sea Dogs memorabilia accumulated since the start of the franchise in 2005. The location will be announced at a later date. 
Huberdeau will be inducted officially at a gala dinner at the 2018 Sea Dogs Par 3 Celebrity Challenge.

The Wildcats and Sherbrooke Phoenix made a significant trade on Thursday involving Quispamsis native and former Saint John Vito’s standout Anderson MacDonald.

The Wildcats traded Jeremy Jacques to the Phoenix along with a first round pick in 2018, a first round pick in 2019 and a second round pick in 2019 in exchange for MacDonald and a second round pick in 2019. Sherbrooke will reportedly receive their second-round pick back if Jacques does not report to the club.

MacDonald is projected to be a first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft by many publications. This loads up the Maritimes Division with even more high end draft eligible talent.

Over at The Hockey News, Matt Larkin writes about the pre-season favourites to win the Calder Trophy as the NHL's rookie of the year.

Sea Dogs defenceman Thomas Chabot came in at No. 5. Halifax Mooseheads forward Nico Hischier was No. 3.

As a huge video game enthusiast, I have no idea what any of this means. But for those who are, here's this:
Here's Saint John's Friday loss to the Mooseheads in its entirety.

Mathieu Joseph was ranked 14th in Raw Charge's rankings of the top 25 under 25 in the Tampa Bay Lightning system. Last Word on Sports called Joseph the Lightning's "sleeper prospect."

Simon Bourque was ranked 17th by A Winning Habit in their listing of Montreal Canadiens prospects.

Nathan Noel was ranked 24th in Second City Hockey's rankings of Chicago Blackhawks prospects under 25. Tomas Jurco, meanwhile, was ranked 19th (yes, he's still under 25). called Julien Gauthier the Carolina Hurricanes' top prospect.

NBC Sports writes about Thomas Chabot, who is looking to make the jump to the NHL.

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