Thursday, August 24, 2017

Sea Dogs have overage decisions to make

SAINT JOHN - David Comeau has a new home for the 2017-18 season.

The MHL's Miramichi Timberwolves confirmed this morning the signing of 20-year defenceman. Comeau spent last season with the Woodstock Slammers, Victoriaville Tigres and Saint John Sea Dogs.

Comeau appeared in 21 regular season games and two playoff contests with the Sea Dogs, recording a total of two goals and three assists. The Fredericton native is not attending Sea Dogs training camp. He would have been a long shot to make this year's team given his overage status.
The Sea Dogs' overage situation is an interesting one this year given that there are no absolute locks. There are no Mike Hoffman, Michael Kirkpatrick or Matthew Highmore types in this year's 20-year-old class.

Saint John does have a decent crop of overage players to choose from, though. There are five in camp: defencemen Alex Bernier, Chase Stewart and Bailey Webster along with forwards Kyle Ward and Cole Reginato.

None of the five are likely to produce a point-per-game, but all five are strong on the defensive side. The three defenders are defensive defencemen while Reginato and Ward have proven to be strong checking line forwards.

The Sea Dogs will have to choose three of the five players to keep - and that's assuming none of the NHL affiliated overage players return and are kept.

Forwards Nathan Noel (Chicago Blackhawks), Julien Gauthier (Carolina Hurricanes) and Mathieu Joseph (Tampa Bay Lightning); defencemen Simon Bourque (Montreal Canadiens), Thomas Chabot (Ottawa Senators) and Jakub Zboril (Boston Bruins); and goaltender Callum Booth (Carolina Hurricanes) could all return to junior as overage players.

Of the seven, Noel, Bourque and Booth likely have the greatest chances of being returned. But even if they are reassigned to Saint John, the Sea Dogs will presumably flip them to another team in exchange for draft picks and/or younger player(s).

Webster, Ward and Reginato all played in Saint John's preseason opener last night against Bathurst. Bernier and Stewart will likely see action when the Sea Dogs' exhibition schedule resumes on Friday in Bathurst and Sunday in Quispamsis.

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