Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Veleno has strong game for Team QMJHL; new 2018 draft rankings released

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI - Joe Veleno was one of Team QMJHL's standout players in Game 5 of the Canada Russia Series on Tuesday night.

Veleno was praised throughout Sportsnet's broadcast for his strong play with and without the puck. The Saint John Sea Dogs captain finished the game with one assist (which came on Drake Batherson's game-winning goal in the third period), no shots, an even rating and 3/5 in the faceoff circle.

This was the first game of the QMJHL portion of the 2017 Canada Russia Series. The Russians and CHL entered the game tied in points at 6-6. The final game of the series takes place on Thursday in Moncton.

This was Veleno's first career game in the annual series, which is used to determine Canada's world junior team.

Batherson, Shawn Boudrias and Nicolas Guay scored for the QMJHL Samuel Harvey was terrific in net, making 25 stops in the win.

Veleno no doubt wanted to have a strong game after sliding way down Craig Button's latest 2018 draft rankings. The Sea Dogs forward has been projected as a top 10-15 pick by most draft publications, but Button's November rankings at TSN.ca had him ranked 25th.

Future Considerations' Fall rankings have Veleno ranked seventh.

Jeff Marek's November rankings had Veleno at No. 6.

A recent mock draft conducted by The Hockey News had Veleno going eighth overall to the Arizona Coyotes.

Photo: Vincent Ethier/QMJHL

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