Sunday, September 23, 2018

RECAP: Sea Dogs win 5-4

FINAL: Moncton 4, Saint John 5
SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs played yet another back-and-forth game on Sunday afternoon - but this time they came out on the winning end.

Just like Friday night against the Halifax Mooseheads, the Sea Dogs got themselves into a hole in the first period, going down 2-0. But, like Friday, Saint John rebounded with a strong second period and straightened things out from there.

16-year-old rookie Josh Lawrence was the major story, recording a hat trick and an assist in just his second career QMJHL game. The Fredericton native now has four goals and two assists in two contests.

Jeremie Jacob and Maxim Cajkovic also scored for Saint John. William Poirier added three assists and Alex D'Orio made 34 saves in the win.

Moncton had a pair of goals from Elliot Desnoyers and singles from Jordan Spence and Dylan Seitz. Charles-Antoine Lavallee, in his first QMJHL start, allowed five goals on 35 shots in the loss.

Through two games, the Sea Dogs have shown that they can be competitive and very entertaining. They'll face a tough test on Wednesday in Charlottetown and then will play Moncton on Friday. The Dogs and 'Cats have played several times over the past month and most of those games have been very entertaining. Hopefully that will continue this week.

Game Day 2: vs Wildcats

SAINT JOHN - After a thrilling season opening game, the Saint John Sea Dogs will try to do one better this afternoon - and try and pick up their first win of the season.

The Sea Dogs host the rival Moncton Wildcats today at 2 p.m. at Harbour Station. The two teams met four times in the pre-season with each squad winning twice. All four games were fairly entertaining, and there is good reason to believe this could be a very fun season series.

The Wildcats opened up the year with a win on Thursday night in Bathurst and have not played since.

TV/Radio/Webcast: Rogers TV/Sea Dogs Radio/QMJHL Live

Records: The Sea Dogs are 0-0-1-0 this season (5th Maritimes, 13th overall) while the Wildcats are 1-0-0-0 (second Maritimes, seventh overall).

2017-18 records: Saint John finished last overall in the QMJHL standings with a 14-43-9-2 record for 39 points while Moncton finished 14th overall with a 27-33-5-3 record for 62 points.

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 5-4 overtime loss to the Halifax Mooseheads on Friday night at Harbour Station. Robbie Burt, Brady Burns, Josh Lawrence and William Poirier scored for Saint John. Alex D'Orio made 31 stops in the loss. The Wildcats are coming off a 3-1 win in Bathurst on Thursday night. Dylan Seitz, Tristan DeJong and Mika Cyr scored for Moncton. Francis Leclerc made 33 saves in the win.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 3-4-2-0 against the Wildcats last season while Moncton went 6-1-1-1 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Sept 16 in pre-season play where the Wildcats defeated the Sea Dogs 7-3 in Bouctouche. Maxim Cajkovic scored all three Saint John goals. Elliot Desnoyers and Nicolas Kingsbury-Fournier scored twice for Moncton while singles came from Jeremy McKenna, Dylan Seitz and Brady Pataki. Stewart Bagnell allowed seven goals on 39 shots in the loss. Francis Leclerc allowed three goals on 28 shots in the win.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Report: Dogs to trade Safin to Mooseheads

Embed from Getty Images
SAINT JOHN - Ostap Safin is headed to the Halifax Mooseheads, reports TVA Sports.

Mikael Lalancette reports that the Sea Dogs forward, who was sent back to junior by the Edmonton Oilers last week, will be traded to the Memorial Cup hosts in a deal that has not yet been confirmed.
Safin, 19, had 26 goals and 31 assists in 61 games with the Sea Dogs last season. He would have been a big help to the Sea Dogs this season - but trading him makes much more sense. The Dogs drafted two quality imports this year who fit their rebuild much better (and if the Dogs had kept Safin, they would have had to let one go). The return Safin will get - even if it isn't a whole lot - is better than nothing.

What the Sea Dogs get in return is the big question. The team doesn't have a lot of options as there are few teams with vacant - or willing to make vacant - import spots.

The Mooseheads have made the most sense as a trading partner for some time. Halifax has one official import on their active roster - forward Marcel Barinka. If Filip Zadina is returned by the Detroit Red Wings, he and Safin would make a solid duo (the two have played together with the Czech Republic national junior team in the past).

The Sea Dogs host the Moncton Wildcats tomorrow at 2 p.m. Their next meeting with the Mooseheads is on Oct. 12 at Harbour Station.

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 5-4 (OT)

FINAL: Halifax 5, Saint John 4 (OT)
SAINT JOHN - If anything, the Saint John Sea Dogs proved they'll be entertaining to watch this season.

The Sea Dogs opened the 2018-19 season with a back-and-forth, hard fought 5-4 overtime loss to the Halifax Mooseheads on Friday night at Harbour Station. Sure, the Mooseheads were missing several regulars, but this young Sea Dogs team showed that they'll be able to give some teams a good run.

Saint John looked a bit unorganized and nervous in the first period and trailed 2-0. But the Sea Dogs turned things around at intermission and the remainder of the game was fairly evenly played. The point was well deserved.

The Sea Dogs' youth had a good night with Josh Lawrence putting up a goal and an assist; Brady Burns recording a goal; and Jeremy Poirier looking like a veteran on the blue line. Returnees William Poirier and Robbie Burt scored Saint John's other goals. Alex D'Orio made 31 saves in the loss.

Arnaud Durandeau scored twice for Halifax while singles came from Gavin Hart, Justin Barron and Patrick Kyte. Alexis Gravel made 34 saves in the win.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Game Day 1: vs Mooseheads

SAINT JOHN - A new era of Saint John Sea Dogs hockey begins tonight at Harbour Station.

With a new young core of players in place, this season marks year one of a rebuild (if you look at last season as year zero). This will, if history repeats itself, be the beginning of a climb back to a league championship in a couple years.

The Sea Dogs will be tested right away, opening the 2018-19 season with a home date against the Memorial Cup hosting Halifax Mooseheads. Even with some regulars still missing, the Moose will dress a much more experienced lineup. Game time tonight is 7 p.m. at Harbour Station.

TV/Radio/Webcast: RogersTV/Sea Dogs Radio/QMJHL Live

Records: This is the first game of the season for both clubs. Last season, Saint John finished last overall in the QMJHL standings with a 14-43-9-2 record for 39 points while Halifax finished fourth overall with a record of 43-18-6-1 for 93 points.

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 7-3 loss to the Moncton Wildcats in Bouctouche this past Sunday. Maxim Cajkovic scored all three of Saint John's goals. Stewart Bagnell made 32 saves in the loss. The Mooseheads are coming off a 2-1 overtime loss to the Moncton Wildcats on Saturday at the Halifax Forum. Raphael Lavoie scored the Mooseheads' lone goal. Cole McLaren made 47 stops in the loss.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 2-5-1-0 against the Mooseheads last season while Halifax went 6-2-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: March 14 at Scotiabank Centre where the Mooseheads defeated the Sea Dogs 7-3. Benoit Olivier-Groulx scored twice for Halifax while singles came from Jared McIsaac, Brett Crossley, Ben Higgins Barrett Dachyshyn and Joel Bishop. Saint John goals came from Cedric Pare, Aiden MacIntosh and Ben Reid. Alexis Gravel made 28 saves in the win. Tommy DaSilva allowed six goals on 31 shots in 40 minutes of play while Stewart Bagnell allowed one in the third period.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Mooseheads: None.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 7-3

FINAL: Saint John 3, Moncton 7
BOUCTOUCHE – The Saint John Sea Dogs' defensive struggles continued on Sunday afternoon.

For a third straight pre-season game, the Sea Dogs had a difficult time keeping the puck out of their own net, falling 7-3 to the Moncton Wildcats at Bouctouche's JK Irving Centre.

The loss comes after a 7-0 loss to the Charlottetown Islanders last weekend and a 7-6 shootout loss on home ice to the Wildcats on Thursday. Saint John ends the pre-season on a three-game losing skid.

The Dogs are still missing their best defender - goaltender Alex D'Orio - due to Pittsburgh Penguins rookie camp. He'll be a difference maker this season - and he'll have to be at many times.

Stewart Bagnell allowed seven goals on 39 shots in the loss. Maxim Cajkovic scored all three of Saint John's goals - and could have easily had two more if not for some fine saves by the Wildcats netminder.

Moncton had a pair of goals from both Elliot Desnoyers and Nicolas Kingsbury-Fournier. Solo markers came from Brady Pataki, Dylan Seitz and Jeremy McKenna. Francis Leclerc made 25 saves in the win.

Pre-Season Game Day 7: at Moncton

BOUCTOUCHE, NB - The Saint John Sea Dogs play their final game of the 2018 pre-season today in Bouctouche against the Moncton Wildcats.

The Sea Dogs had a smooth start to the exhibition season, winning their first four games. The team has had a rough go lately though, allowing seven goals in a loss to the Charlottetown Islanders last weekend and giving up six this past Thursday against the Wildcats.

Game time this afternoon is 4 p.m.

TV/Radio/Webcast: None/None/None

Records: The Sea Dogs are 4-1-0-1 in pre-season play while the Wildcats are 4-5-1-0. Last season, Saint John finished last overall in the QMJHL standings with a 14-43-9-2 record for 39 points while Moncton finished 14th overall with a 27-33-5-3 record for 62 points.

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 7-6 shootout loss to the Wildcats on Thursday at Harbour Station. Saint John had two goals from Maxim Cajkovic and solo markers from Anthony Boucher, Robbie Burt, Brady Burns and Kevin Mason. Tommy DaSilva gave up five goals on 26 shots while Stewart Bagnell allowed one on nine shots in the loss. Moncton is coming off a 2-1 overtime win over the Halifax Mooseheads last night at the Halifax Forum. Jeremy McKenna and Nicolas Kinsbury-Fournier scored for Moncton. Charles-Antoine Lavallee made 16 saves in the win.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 3-4-2-0 against the Wildcats last season while Moncton went 6-1-1-1 against Saint John.

Last meeting: That 7-6 Wildcats shootout win on Thursday. Adam Capannelli scored twice for Moncton while singles came from Kyle Foreman, Tristan DeJong, Dylan Seitz and Brady Pataki. Francis Leclerc allowed five goals on 17 shots while Charles-Antoine Lavallee allowed one on 10 shots in the win.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Wildcats: Radio voice Tim Roszell.

Friday, September 14, 2018

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 7-6 (SO)

FINAL: Moncton 7, Saint John 6 (SO)
SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs lost a wild pre-season game on Thursday night at Harbour Station, falling 7-6 in a shootout to the Moncton Wildcats.

The Sea Dogs were down 2-0 early in the first period but tied it just after the midway mark of the opening frame. Then, Saint John went up 6-3 heading into the third period only to blow that lead - which led to an eight round shootout.

Maxim Cajkovic scored twice for Saint John while singles came from Anthony Boucher, Brady Burns, Robbie Burt and Kevin Mason.

Tommy DaSilva allowed five goals on 26 shots in just under 44 minutes of action. Stewart Bagnell allowed one goal on nine shots.

The Sea Dogs website has a more detailed recap.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 7-0

FINAL: Charlottetown 7, Saint John 0
SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs' perfect pre-season record came crashing to an end on Saturday afternoon at Harbour Station.

Nothing went right for the Sea Dogs in their first exhibition contest in nearly two weeks, getting crushed 7-0 by the Charlottetown Islanders.

Charlottetown scored three goals in both the first and second periods. Saint John was very sloppy defensively and got into a lot of penalty trouble. The team failed to generate much offensive flow at any point.

Six different players scored for Charlottetown: Drew Johnston (two), Cole Edwards, Liam Peyton, Daniel Hardie, Brett Budgell and Lukas Cormier. Goaltender Dakota Lund-Cornish wasn't tested too much, making 27 saves in the shutout victory.

Tommy DaSilva allowed all seven of Saint John's goals. He struggled at times - but the defense in front of him did as well.

After a smooth ride so far this pre-season, this was a big reality check. This team is going to have more nights like this throughout the year - but that's just the way it goes. Patience will be required - and hopefully this young squad can learn from games like these throughout the year.

Pre-Season Game Day 5: vs Islanders

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs return to pre-season action this afternoon at Harbour Station.

The Sea Dogs, who are a perfect 4-0 in pre-season play, host the Charlottetown Islanders in a very rare Saturday afternoon home game. Puck drop is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Both teams are down to their final few cuts, so today's match - and the remainder of exhibition games - should feature fairly "normal" rosters.

TV/Radio/Webcast: None/Sea Dogs Radio/None

Records: The Sea Dogs are 4-0-0-0 this pre-season while the Islanders are 2-1-1-0. Last season, Saint John finished last overall in the QMJHL standings with a 14-43-9-2 record for 39 points while Charlottetown went 37-24-7-0 for 81 points, placing them third in the Maritimes Division and ninth overall in the league.

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 3-2 overtime win over the Moncton Wildcats in St. Stephen on Aug. 26. Josh Lawrence scored all three Saint John goals while Alex D'Orio made 30 stops in the victory. The Islanders are coming off a 3-2 win over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in Cornwall, PEI on Aug. 26. Daniel Hardie, Sullivan Sparkes and Derek Gentile scored for the Isles. Matthew Welsh made 31 stops in the win.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 3-5-1-0 against the Islanders last season while Charlottetown went 6-2-1-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: March 7 at Harbour Station where the Sea Dogs defeated the Islanders 5-3. Ostap Safin scored a pair of goals while singles came from Luke Wilson, Alexis Girard and Aiden MacIntosh. Charlottetown goals came from Nikita Alexandrov, Taylor Egan and Derek Gentile. Alex D'Orio made 42 stops in the win. Matthew Welsh made 19 saves in the loss.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Islanders: Forwards Daniel Hardie and Kevin Gursoy.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Taking a look at Saint John's roster

By Kevin Chambers and Lorne Webster
SN Staff

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs recently announced their latest round of cuts from their training camp roster and announced a couple trades that have been confirmed. The Sea Dogs will now have a break before their next pre-season game, which is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 8 at Harbour Station against the Charlottetown Islanders.

First, let's have a look at some of the players that were with the team last year and will not be returning this season - beginning with long time Sea Dog forward Matt Green who, unfortunately, became the victim of a numbers game in Saint John. Also no longer with the team are forwards Robbie Burt and Ben Reid; along with Kevin Gursoy who was dealt to Charlottetown. Defenceman Alexis Girard was also traded on Monday along with a draft pick in exchange for another defender in Carson Gallant, who was/is expected to become an affiliate player and report to the MHL's Campbellton Tigers.

What does this mean moving forward? Simply put, the Sea Dogs are going to be a very young team. It should come as no surprise that this will be the youngest team in the QMJHL (and quite possibly the CHL) with a roster that will include five 16-year old players along with eight 17-year olds on the 25-man roster to start the season. Recent moves also open up several positions that will cause players to not only see the opportunity, but to seize the moment and work even harder to earn one of these regular spots in the lineup.

Higgins trade completed; Pilon leaves

SAINT JOHN - The look of the Saint John Sea Dogs' defence core became much clearer on Wednesday.

The Sea Dogs officially acquired 20-year-old defenceman Tyler Higgins from the Gatineau Olympiques in exchange for a 12th-round pick in the 2021 QMJHL Entry Draft. This according to an Olympiques news release.

Higgins will join forward Anthony Boucher and defenceman Michael Campoli as the team's trio of overage players to start the season.

Higgins has been at Sea Dogs training camp on loan from the Olympiques. Higgins spent last season between the Val-d'Or Foreurs, Rimouski Oceanic and Olympiques, ending the year with nine assists in 51 games.

Meanwhile, defenceman Zack Pilon, a free agent invite from Ontario, has left the club and will be returning closer to home.
Pilon, who appeared in 43 games with the OHL's Flint Firebirds last season, is a Smiths Falls native.

Here's the defencemen who remain on Saint John's roster: Higgins, Campoli, Charlie DesRoches, Nathan Larose, Jeremy Poirier, Brendan Sibley and William Villeneuve. Sibley has yet to play this pre-season due to an injury suffered over the summer.

The Sea Dogs acquired 17-year-old defenceman Carson Gallant on Monday in exchange for 19-year-old d-man Alexis Girard. The initial plan was for Gallant to start the year with the MHL's Campbellton Tigers.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Sea Dogs release Green; acquire Gallant

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs announced a flurry of roster moves on Monday following the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's pre-season trade deadline.

The most notable move was the releasing of 20-year-old forward Matt Green. The 22nd overall pick in the 2014 QMJHL Entry Draft has spent the past four seasons with Saint John, recording 36 points in 168 games.

“We want to thank Matt for his contributions on and off the ice” said Sea Dogs president and general manager Trevor Georgie in a release. “He grew up as a Sea Dog from 16-years-old, was a model citizen, and won a President Cup with us in 2017. The overage rule is a tough one (QMJHL teams are only allowed three 20-year-olds on their roster) and we wish Matt the very best.”

The Hammonds Plains, NS native was selected in the second round after the Sea Dogs took his twin brother, defenceman Luke Green, with the first overall pick. Matt Green proved to be a decent defensive forward but was never able to add a lot of offence to his game - which hurt his chances of sticking around as one of the team's overage players.

The Sea Dogs also announced a couple trades. The first had already been reported, which saw forward Kevin Gursoy traded to the Charlottetown Islanders in exchange for a 2020 sixth-round pick. The pick could become a fourth-round selection depending on Gursoy's performance.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Recap: Sea Dogs win 3-2 (OT)

FINAL: Moncton 2, Saint John 3 (OT)
ST. STEPHEN - Josh Lawrence has had no problem putting up points this pre-season.

Lawrence scored all three of the Saint John Sea Dogs' goals in a 3-2 overtime victory over the Moncton Wildcats on Sunday afternoon at St. Stephen's Garcelon Civic Center.

The 16-year-old forward now has five goals and an assist in three pre-season games. He's been held without a goal in just one of the three games he has appeared in. This comes after he piled up the goals and assists in Saint John's training camp scrimmages.

Brady Burns, meanwhile, recorded two assists. Alex D'Orio made his first appearance of the pre-season, making 30 stops in the victory.

The Wildcats dressed a much more experienced lineup than they did on Wednesday night in Moncton where they were hammered 8-1 by the Sea Dogs. Veterans Jacob Hudson and Simon Le Coultre scored for the Wildcats. Charles-Antoine Lavallee made 12 stops while Alec MacDonald made 10.

The win improves the Sea Dogs' record to 4-0 in exhibition play. The team has next weekend off.

Report: Gursoy traded to Islanders

ST. STEPHEN - The Saint John Sea Dogs have traded forward Kevin Gursoy to the Charlottetown Islanders, according to Mikael Lalancette of TVA Sports.

In exchange, the Sea Dogs will receive a sixth-round pick in the 2020 QMJHL Entry Draft. Lalancette reports that the pick could become a fourth-round selection depending on Gursoy's performance.
Gursoy, 19, signed with the Sea Dogs last August after putting up 30 goals and 32 assists in 50 games with the GOJHL's Chatham Maroons in 2016-17.

The LaSalle, Ont. native recorded 11 goals and seven assists with Saint John last season. So far this pre-season, Gursoy has registered two goals and an assist in one game.

The QMJHL's summer trade deadline is tomorrow.

Pre-Season Game Day 4: vs Wildcats

ST. STEPHEN – The Saint John Sea Dogs and Moncton Wildcats meet for a second time this week today in St. Stephen.

The Sea Dogs, who dressed a lineup sprinkled with veterans and a handful of high end youngsters, hammered a much less experienced Wildcats squad 8-1 in pre-season action in Moncton on Wednesday night. Given how the ‘Cats have operated their training camp, today’s game could feature similar lineup styles.

This marks the first QMJHL pre-season game to be played at St. Stephen’s Garcelon Civic Centre, which is home to the MHL’s Aces. The Sea Dogs held an open practice at the old Border Arena in 2006 but have not returned until today.

TV/Radio/Webcast: None/None/None

Records: The Sea Dogs are 3-0-0-0 this pre-season while the Wildcats are 1-2-0-0. Last season, Saint John finished last overall in the QMJHL standings with a 14-43-9-2 record for 39 points while Moncton finished 14th overall with a 27-33-5-3 record for 62 points.

Last games: The Sea Dogs and Wildcats met on Wednesday night in Moncton where Saint John skated away with an 8-1 win. Josh Lawrence scored twice while singles came from Nathan Larose, Maxim Cajkovic, William Villeneuve, Brady Burns, Yohan Plamondon and Nicholas Deakin-Poot. Moncton’s goal came Mark Rumsey. Tommy DaSilva made 21 saves in the win. Philippe Gaudreault and Alec MacDonald took the loss in the Moncton net, allowing eight goals on 34 shots.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 3-4-2-0 against the Wildcats last season while Moncton went 6-1-1-1 against Saint John.

Last meeting: See above.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Wildcats: Radio voice Tim Roszell

Friday, August 24, 2018

Roszell joins Wildcats

MONCTON - In an unexpected turn of events, former Saint John Sea Dogs radio voice Tim Roszell has joined the Moncton Wildcats.

The Times & Transcript reported this morning (paywall) that Roszell will be the new voice of the rival Wildcats, replacing Marty Kingston. The Wildcats will continue to have games broadcast on the FM dial, which the Sea Dogs dropped this off-season.

Roszell's dismissal this summer left many fans outraged, partly because of Roszell's popularity and partly because it seemingly meant the end of Sea Dogs hockey on the radio.

The Sea Dogs announced plans this week on how the team's radio broadcasts will be replaced, hiring former Mooseheads radio voice John Moore to handle home games and Halifax based contests. Maritime road games will be called by various hosts while Quebec based games not be covered, meaning there will be no English audio available. In total, 56 games will be broadcast via an online stream.

"They made a business decision," Roszell told the Times & Transcript. "There's not much more to it than that."

Roszell had been the voice of the Sea Dogs since the 2006-07 season, calling all home and away games on News 88.9 and then 96.1 NewSong FM.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Recap: Sea Dogs win 8-1

FINAL: Saint John 8, Moncton 1
MONCTON - Maxim Cajkovic made quite the first impression.

The first overall pick in the CHL Import Draft had little trouble handling the Moncton Wildcats on Wednesday night at the Superior Propane Centre, recording a goal and two assists in the Saint John Sea Dogs' 8-1 blowout win.

Cajkovic and Josh Lawrence, who played on a line with Yohan Plamondon, seemed to have good chemistry. Lawrence had two goals - both of which were set up by Cajkovic - and an assist with Plamondon finishing with a goal and an assist.

Nathan Larose, William Villeneuve, Brady Burn and Nicholas Deakin-Poot also scored for Saint John. Tommy DaSilva made 21 saves in his first full game of the pre-season.

The Wildcats dressed very few players with any QMJHL experience, instead icing a lineup of mostly rookies. Saint John, meanwhile, had a mix of veterans and high end young players. The result of this game came as no shock.

Mark Rumsey scored Moncton's lone goal. Philippe Gaudreault allowed four goals on 18 shots while Alex MacDonald allowed four on 16 in the loss.

Pre-Season Game Day 3: at Moncton

MONCTON - The Saint John Sea Dogs put their perfect pre-season record on the line tonight.

The Sea Dogs, 2-0, take on the Moncton Wildcats, 1-1, tonight at the Superior Propane Centre. Game time is 7 p.m.

Both of Saint John's pre-season wins have come against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, defeating the defending Memorial Cup champions 2-1 at home on Sunday and 5-1 last night at the KC Irving Regional Centre.

TV/Radio/Webcast: None/None/None

Records: The Sea Dogs are 2-0-0-0 this pre-season while the Wildcats are 1-1-0-0. Last season, Saint John finished last overall in the QMJHL standings with a 14-43-9-2 record for 39 points while Moncton finished 14th overall with a 27-33-5-3 record for 62 points.

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 5-1 win in Bathurst last night. Kevin Gursoy scored twice while singles came from Matt Green, Aiden MacIntosh and Nathan Larose. Stewart Bagnell made 19 saves and Tommy DaSilva made nine. The Wildcats are coming off a 2-1 home loss to the Charlottetown Islanders last night. Ozzie King scored Moncton's lone goal. Philippe Gaudreault made 14 saves and Charles-Antoine Lavallee made 23.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 3-4-2-0 against the Wildcats last season while Moncton went 6-1-1-1 against Saint John.

Last meeting: March 10 at Harbour Station where the Wildcats defeated the Sea Dogs 6-4. Cole Reginato scored two goals for Saint John while singles came from Anthony Boucher and Cedric Pare. Jeremy McKenna scored twice for Moncton while singles came from Alexander Khovanov, James Phelan, Anderson MacDonald and Brady Pataki. Alex D'Orio made 28 stops in the loss. Mark Grametbauer made 34 in the win.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Wildcats: None.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Recap: Sea Dogs win 5-1

FINAL: Saint John 5, Bathurst 1
BATHURST - Kevin Gursoy and Matt Green led the Saint John Sea Dogs to a big pre-season win on Tuesday night at the KC Irving Regional Centre.

Gursoy had two goals and an assist while Green had a goal and two helpers in the 5-1 victory over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. The two veteran forwards played on the team's top line with 16-year-old Dawson Stairs (who registered an assist).

Aiden MacIntosh and Nathan Larose also scored for the Sea Dogs. 16-year-old defenceman Jeremie Poirier had two assists. Stewart Bagnell allowed a goal on 20 shots while Tommy DaSilva stopped all nine shots he faced.

Alexandre David scored Bathurst's lone goal. Felix-Anthony Ethier allowed five goals on 30 shots in the loss.

The Sea Dogs were opportunistic on the power play in this one, going 2-for-3. They were also solid on the penalty kill, killing off five of six Titan opportunities - which included a four-minute penalty in the second period.

Saint John is now 2-0 in the pre-season. The wins have been far from perfect, but it's a good start.

Stairs signs with Sea Dogs over NCAA

BATHURST - The Saint John Sea Dogs announced a significant signing on Tuesday, inking forward Dawson Stairs.

The 16-year-old was selected by the Sea Dogs in the seventh round of this year's QMJHL Entry Draft and attended training camp. He dropped in the draft because of his NCAA intentions and was expected to leave Dogs camp after 48 hours in order to maintain his eligibility.

That has all changed.

The Sea Dogs have signed the Fredericton native and he is expected to play in tonight's pre-season contest in Bathurst. Game time is 7 p.m. at the KC Irving Regional Centre.

Normally this news would mean a guaranteed roster spot, but the opposite is going to happen in this case. Because of a league rule that limits the amount of 16-year-old players a team can carry on its roster (it's typically four but exceptions have been made to allow five), there is no room for Stairs. Instead he'll be an affiliate player, "joining the team throughout the season for practices, select games, and training."

Stairs spent last season at Rothesay Netherwood, recording four goals and 11 assists in 21 games. He'll join the South Kent Selects Academy in Connecticut for the 2018-19 season.

“It is an honour to join such a great organization” said Stairs in a news release. “Obviously the Sea Dogs had a tremendous draft and in two to three years’ time, this group is going to be an amazing team. It’s somewhere hockey players want to play.”

Stairs was ranked 26th by QMJHL Central Scouting entering the draft. Saint John has successfully added six of the top 30 ranked prospects from this year's draft class.

Saint John has seemingly turned their fortunes around when it comes to landing Maritime players with NCAA intentions. Josh Lawrence and Charlie DesRoches did so previously and both are expected to be on this year's squad.

Pre-Season Game Day 2: at Bathurst

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs play the second game of their pre-season schedule tonight in Bathurst.

The Sea Dogs and Titan met on Sunday night at Harbour Station with Saint John posting a 2-1 victory. Connor Richard and Kevin Mason scored for the Sea Dogs while Tommy DaSilva and Stewart Bagnell combined for the victory in net.

Both teams will likely dress different looking squads tonight. Game time at the KC Irving Regional Centre is 7 p.m.

TV/Radio/Webcast: None/None/None

Records: The Sea Dogs are 1-0-0-0 this pre-season while Bathurst is 0-1-0-0. Last season, Saint John finished last overall in the QMJHL standings with a 14-43-9-2 record for 39 points while the Titan finished second overall with a record of 43-15-8-2 for 96 points and went on to win the President Cup and Memorial Cup.

Last games: The Sea Dogs defeated the Titan 2-1 on Sunday night at Harbour Station. Connor Richard and Kevin Mason scored for Saint John while Logan Timmons netted the lone Bathurst goal. Tommy DaSilva made eight saves and Stewart Bagnell made 11 in the win. Andrew MacLeod made 32 saves in the loss.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 1-8-0-0 against the Titan last season while Bathurst went 8-1-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: See above.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Titan: None.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Sea Dogs announce first roster moves

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs have announced their first round of roster moves.

The following players have been cut from the team's training camp roster: forwards Robbie Burt (1999), Cade DeStefani (2001), Alex Fowke (2001), Zac Sirota (2000) and Daniel Surette (2001); defencemen Kale McCallum (2002) and Simon Trottier (2002); and goaltender Tuomas Bowland (2001).

According to the team, DeStefani, McCallum, Trottier and Bowland all left to maintain their NCAA eligibility. What's interesting is that the Dogs made no mention of talented forward Dawson Stairs (2002), who's believed to have NCAA intentions but is battling for one of the team's final - and coveted - 16-year-old spots.

The Sea Dogs have a plethora of high end 16-year-olds they would no doubt like to keep on their roster, but the league limit of four is hindering that idea. Teams have been granted permission in the past (including the Sea Dogs) to carry five, but six might be pushing it a bit too far.

Saint John selected five 2002 born players in the first two rounds of this year's draft: William Villeneuve, Jeremie Poirier, Josh Lawrence, Brady Burns and Charlie DesRoches.

The other cuts announced on Monday were long shots to make this year's team. Burt, as reported, was sent home of the first day of training camp after failing to meet off-season expectations.

The Sea Dogs also announced that defenceman Patrick Musico (2000) and forward Christopher Duchesne (2001) have signed as affiliate players. 2018 draft picks Alexandre O’Neill (2002) and Charles-Antoine Dumont (2002) have also gone home but are expected to be affiliate players this year.

Musico, a Sudbury native, will join the MHL's St. Stephen Aces for the upcoming season. The Sea Dogs will face the Moncton Wildcats in St. Stephen this coming Sunday.

Saint John returns to pre-season action tomorrow night in Bathurst. Game time is 7 p.m.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Recap: Sea Dogs win 2-1

FINAL: Bathurst 1, Saint John 2
SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs opened the 2018 pre-season with a victory.

Connor Richard and Kevin Mason scored in the Sea Dogs' 2-1 victory over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan at Harbour Station. Tommy DaSilva and Stewart Bagnell combined for 19 saves in the win.

The Sea Dogs were predictably sloppy at times but carried much of the play, outshooting the Titan 34-20. Saint John dressed a mix of 2018 draft picks, free agents and a few returning players.

Saint John opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal at 11:27 of the first. Richard grabbed the puck at the blue line and went in on a breakaway, pulling off a nice toe drag and beating Titan netminder Andrew MacLeod upstairs.

The Sea Dogs had some quality chances early in the second but could not capitalize. First, Yohan Plamondon and Ben Reid had a two-on-one but the puck was stolen on a pass through the crease. Then, Jeremie Jacob had a short breakaway but was denied by the pad of MacLeod.

Saint John took a 2-0 lead at 4:48 of the the third. Brady Burns carried the puck behind the net and then skated out front, dishing a nice pass through the blue paint to an open Mason who scored.

The Titan got on the board at 7:05 of the final frame. Logan Timmons sped through the Saint John defence and beat Bagnell five-hole to make it a 2-1 game.

DaSilva stopped all eight shots in faced in 31:39 of action. Bagnell stopped 11 the rest of the way.

MacLeod played the full 60 minutes for Bathurst and made 32 saves in the loss.

Notebook: Lawrence showing off skill

SAINT JOHN - Josh Lawrence has been noticeable at Saint John Sea Dogs training camp for a couple reasons.

For starters, he sticks out right away because he's one of the smaller players at camp at just 5'09" and 163 lbs. But he has also sticks out for some of his incredible playmaking ability, picking up a handful of assists in Saturday's scrimmages alone.

He has found instant chemistry with Team Blue linemates William Poirier and Maxim Cajkovic - and it will be interesting to see if the trio sees some time together in pre-season play. But even when removed from those two - which he was on Saturday night - he has made some excellent passes, showing off his excellent vision.

Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News recently wrote that Lawrence is "fast and skilled," featuring the forward in his prospect "need to know" piece for the 2020 NHL Draft.

"He’ll put up a ton of points in the ‘Q,’" writes Kennedy. "Lawrence was taken 15th overall by the Sea Dogs because he was committed to Boston University at the time, but he has since signed with Saint John. The New Brunswick native was the leading scorer for Selects Academy in Connecticut, which is a solid developer of talent."

Pre-Season Game Day 1: vs Titan

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs begin QMJHL pre-season play tonight at Harbour Station.

The Sea Dogs will play seven games during this year's pre-season, and this will be the first of three they'll play over the next week.

Admission for tonight's game at Harbour Station - which features a rare Sunday start time of 7 p.m. - is free. The Dogs will likely dress a decent lineup and give the expected large crowd a good show.

TV/Radio/Webcast: None/None/None

Records: This is the first game of the pre-season for both the Sea Dogs and Titan. Last season, Saint John finished last overall in the QMJHL standings with a 14-43-9-2 record for 39 points while the Titan finished second overall with a record of 43-15-8-2 for 96 points and went on to win the President Cup and Memorial Cup.

Last games: Saint John's last game was on March 17 at Centre 200 where they fell 8-3 to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. Robbie Burt, Brendan Sibley and Cole Reginato scored for the Dogs. Tommy DaSilva made 32 stops in the loss. The Titan's last game was the Memorial Cup final on May 27 in Regina. Adam Holwell, Samuel Asselin and Ethan Crossman scored for Bathurst. Evan Fitzpatrick made 28 saves in the shutout win.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 1-8-0-0 against the Titan last season while Bathurst went 8-1-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: March 9 at Harbour Station where the Titan defeated the Sea Dogs 6-4. Cole Reginato, Anthony Boucher, Nathan Larose and William Poirier scored for Saint John. Antoine Morand had a pair of goals for Bathurst while singles came from Olivier Galipeau, Adam Holwell, Jeffrey Truchon-Viel and Mitchell Balmas. Matthew Williams allowed five goals on 33 shots in 40 minutes of play. Tommy DaSilva allowed one goal on 16 shots in the third. Joseph Murdaca made 28 stops for the Titan.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Notebook: Flynn joins Blue Jackets scouting staff

SAINT JOHN - Danny Flynn has found a new home.

The former Saint John Sea Dogs head coach has joined the Columbus Blue Jackets as an eastern amateur scout. Flynn will be based in Ontario.

Flynn, a Dartmouth native, spent last season working with fellow Dartmouth native Mike Johnston behind the WHL's Portland Winterhawks bench.

“I have taken a job with the Columbus Blue Jackets and will be based in Ontario. Leaving Portland was a hard choice, I really enjoyed working with the organization, staff and players,” Flynn said in a Winterhawks news release.

Flynn was head coach of the Sea Dogs in 2015-16 and 2016-17, guiding the team to a QMJHL championship in 2017. He was named QMJHL coach of the year that season. He left the Sea Dogs later that off-season and joined the Winterhawks.

Flynn will turn 61 next month, and you have to think his time behind junior hockey benches may have come to an end.

BEHIND THE BENCH
Speaking of coaches, the Sea Dogs will have a new face behind the bench this season in Stefan Legein. The Sea Dogs announced the hiring of Legein a couple weeks ago.

Legein, a former star with Canada's world junior team, spent last season as an assistant and video coach with the OHL's Mississauga Steelheads. His hockey career has had plenty of ups and downs, as the Canadian Press wrote about last year.

Legein has been running the Team Blue bench at Sea Dogs training camp. Brian Fleming has been working with Team Black and Jeff Cowan with Team White.

Friday, August 17, 2018

News and notes from Friday's scrimmages

By Lorne Webster | SN Staff

SAINT JOHN - The first full day of scrimmages at Saint John Sea Dogs training camp is in the books. Here are some news, notes and thoughts from the day.

  • It is only day one but there are real signs for optimism with the latest rebuild in Saint John. There are a number of tough decisions to be made with the team’s impressive crop of 2018 draft choices. Even if the QMJHL does grant the Sea Dogs permission to dress five (or even six) 16 year-olds this season, there are sure to be at least three or more rookies who will be required to continue their development outside the QMJHL - and yet likely to be key contributors to the team next season.
  • In the Friday morning scrimmage, the forward line of import Maxim Cajkovic, rookie Josh Lawrence and veteran William Poirier was dynamite. Their skill and puck movement was very evident.
  • In the Friday afternoon scrimmage, the forward line of rookie Dawson Stairs, import Filip Prikryl and veteran Anthony Boucher was equally as impressive as the Cajkovic-Lawrence-W. Poirier combo.
  • The coaching staff may have tipped their hands a bit with regards to likely defensive pairings to start the season. Sophomore Nathan Larose and his partner, rookie Jeremy Poirier, looked great together and really pushed the pace. Overager Michael Campoli and rookie William Villeneuve also impressed with their strong play together.
  • Besides William Poirier and Anthony Boucher, returning forwards who appeared to get the memo to bring their “A” game right from the first whistle were Nicholas Deakin-Poot and Yohan Plamondon.
  • Second year players Luke Wilson, Kevin Mason, Aiden MacIntosh and Jeremie Jacob were noticeable and each had several strong shifts.
  • Speaking of noticeable – overage defenceman Tyler Higgins and rookie free agent forward James White (who is merely 17) are both impressive physical specimens – at 6’4" (+) and roughly 220 pounds each – who can skate as well. These two reportedly scored very high in the off-ice physical testing held on Thursday.
  • Zack Pilon and Patrick Musico – a pair of free agent defencemen from Ontario – both looked strong in their first scrimmages at Harbour Station and they appear to be ready to challenge for a roster spot.
  • The Sea Dogs' first draft choice in 2017, Brendan Sibley (round three, 52nd overall) was unable to participate in the opening day scrimmages due to an injury sustained during training this summer. Veteran Robbie Burt also did not skate with the team in the opening sessions.

Sea Dogs begin pre-season Sunday

SAINT JOHN - The first scrimmages of Saint John Sea Dogs training camp were held on Friday at Harbour Station, and on Sunday, the team will play their first game of the pre-season.

In an extremely rare Sunday night matchup (Saint John has played just a handful in franchise history), the Sea Dogs will host the Memorial Cup champion Acadie-Bathurst Titan at 7 p.m. The game is free to attend (although fans must still pick up tickets) and the Dogs will likely put a decent lineup together to show off to the expected large crowd.

The Sea Dogs will play seven games this pre-season - four at home and three on the road. Three of Saint John's home games will be played at Harbour Station while the other will be at St. Stephen's Garcelon Civic Centre.

Here's Saint John's full pre-season schedule:

Sunday, Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. vs Bathurst (Saint John)
Tuesday, Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. at Bathurst (Bathurst)
Wednesday, Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. at Moncton (Moncton)
Sunday, Aug. 26 at 3 p.m. vs Moncton (St. Stephen)
Saturday, Sept. 8 at 3 p.m. vs Charlottetown (Saint John)
Thursday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. vs Moncton (Saint John)
Sunday, Sept. 16 at 4 p.m. at Moncton (Bouctouche)

The Sea Dogs have never played in St. Stephen before and have appeared in Bouctouche just once. They will not play in Quispamsis or Fredericton this year.

Saint John begins regular season play on Friday, Sept. 21 when they host the Memorial Cup hosting Halifax Mooseheads at Harbour Station.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Cajkovic brings hype to Dogs camp

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs will have no shortage of hype at this year's training camp.

The Sea Dogs are coming off what appears to be - on paper, anyways - one of the best off-seasons in club history, landing several highly touted and hyped players.

Perhaps the most hyped up player coming to camp is Slovakian forward Maxim Cajkovic, who was the first overall pick in this year's CHL Import Draft. Scott Wheeler of The Athletic recently listed Cajkovic, 17, as a contender to be selected in the top five of the 2019 NHL Draft.

"Cajkovic now joins a young, rebuilding Saint John’s team in the QMJHL, where he should be afforded a big offensive role and the chance to really establish himself near the top of this class," writes Wheeler. "His impressive play continued at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, where he posted three points in as many games on a weak Slovakian team. Cajkovic is an athletic scorer who can flat out shoot the puck and make plays."

Cajkovic finished second on Team Slovakia in scoring at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, recording two goals and two assists in four games. Guillaume Lepage of NHL.com writes that Cajkovic raised his draft stock during the tournament.

"I'm fast, but I need to improve my skating every day," Cajkovic told NHL.com. "There's a lot of room for me to improve right now. I think I'm getting bigger and better, that's important for me."

Listed at 5'11" and 185 lbs, it will be interesting to see what Cajkovic can do with Saint John this season after putting up excellent numbers in the Swedish junior circuit a year ago. He'll be joining a young team that will likely struggle to score on some nights. Despite this, he definitely seems excited too be joining the Dogs, posting on Instagram throughout the summer about playing in Saint John.

Cajkovic will play on Team Blue at Sea Dogs training camp, the same squad as Josh Lawrence and Charlie DesRoches. The team hits the ice first, playing on Friday at 10 a.m. at Harbour Station.

Saint John's other pick in this year's Import Draft, 17-year-old Czech forward Filip Prikryl, also appeared at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, recording a goal and an assist in four games. He'll play on Team White at training camp.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Training camp roster observations

By Lorne Webster | SN Staff

SAINT JOHN - Here are a few observations on the Saint John Sea Dogs' 2018 training camp roster, which was released on Tuesday afternoon.

  • All but two players drafted this summer will be in Saint John to start Sea Dogs training camp. Only Jack Williams (US Draft 1st round, 1st overall) and Riley Bezeau (12th, 199th) are not reporting at this time. Williams, who has a verbal commitment to go to Northeastern University (NCAA) is currently playing in the under-17 5-Nations Cup in Slovakia with Team USA. The Sea Dogs remain hopeful that Williams will agree to join former South Kent Selects teammates Josh Lawrence and Charlie DesRoches in Saint John.
  • Both of the Sea Dogs’ 2018 CHL import draft selections – Maxim Cajkovic (Slovakia) and Filip Prikryl (Czech Republic) – have arrived in Saint John after having played in the recent Hlinka-Gretzky tournament in Alberta.
  • Seven of 15 players drafted in 2017 are reporting: Brendan Sibley (3, 52), Aiden MacIntosh (4, 63), Jeremie Jacob (6, 104), Stewart Bagnell (8, 145), Luke Wilson (9, 163), Josh MacDonald (10, 164) and Daniel Surette (12, 201). Of the eight not reporting – Max-Antoine Melancon (4, 73 - who was traded to Shawinigan for a 2019 second round pick), Lynden Breen (5, 83), Tim Noble (5, 87), Justin Hryckowian (11-, 83), Patrick Moynihan (12, 210) and Robby Griffin (12, 217) all appear to be maintaining their NCAA eligibility.
  • Only one player from the 2016 draft class is reporting – Kevin Mason (7, 123). Players from the 2016 draft listed on the pre-season roster but not reporting include: Shane Bowers (2, 32 - Boston University), Matt Gould (6, 105 - NCAA) and Matthew Steinburg (10, 177 – NCAA).
  • Only two players from the 2015 draft class are reporting – Alex D’Orio (1, 9) and Ben Reid (7, 119). Players from the 2015 draft listed on pre-season roster but not reporting are: Morgan Barron (4, 57 - Cornell) and Ben Mirageas (9, 154 - Providence).
  • Only four 20 year-olds (1998 born) are listed on the training camp roster – Anthony Boucher (W/C), Matt Green (C), Michael Campoli (D) and Tyler Higgins (D). Pending any further roster moves, they will be battling for the three available overage spots.
  • Six players who played for the Sea Dogs in 2017-18 - and were listed on the pre-season roster – are not listed on the current training camp roster: RW Ostap Safin (on import protected list), D Thomas Ashe, D Tyler Hungerbuhler, D Zachary Leclerc (loaned to Victoriaville), D Tyler Smith and G Matt Williams.
  • In light of the Sea Dogs youth movement – and having missed the playoffs last season – all other returning players are expected to be on top of their game in order to earn a place on the 2018-19 regular season roster.
  • Free agents listed on the training camp roster include:
    • Tuomas Bowland (G – 2001-05-10 – 6’5” 196 lbs. – Chamcook NB)
    • Christian Clark (C - 2000-02-08 – 5’10” 180 lbs. – Oshawa ON)
    • Ryan Decker (LW – 2001-01-25 – 6’2” 190 lbs. – Cambridge MA USA)
    • Christopher Duchesne (RW – 2001-06-23 – 5’5” 145 lbs. – Lasalle QC)
    • Patrick Musico (D – 2000-03-16 – 6’2’ 187 lbs. – Newmarket ON)
    • Zack Pilon (D – 2000-11-28 – 6’4” 203 lbs. – Ottawa ON)
    • Zac Sirota (C – 2000-09-12 – 5’8’ 165 lbs. – Richmond Hill ON)
    • James White (LW – 2000-09-25 – 6’4” 220 lbs – Vernon BC)

The Sea Dogs will hold scrimmages on Friday and Saturday at Harbour Station before facing the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in a pre-season tilt on Sunday night. The schedule can be found here.

Sea Dogs release training camp details

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs released details about their 2018 training camp on Tuesday.

Scrimmages will take place on Friday and Saturday at Harbour Station and, as always, are open to the public. Here's the schedule:

Friday, Aug. 17
10 a.m. – Black vs. Blue
2 p.m. – White vs. Black
7 p.m. – Blue vs. White

Saturday, Aug. 18 
10 a.m. – Black vs. Blue
2 p.m. – White vs. Black
7:30 p.m. – Blue vs. White and Best of 7 Team Challenge

Saturday's "Best of 7 Team Challenge" will include 5-on-5, 4-on-4, 3-on-3, shootouts and more, according to a press release.

Saint John's training camp has been broken into three different teams. The full roster can be seen on the team's website.

The Sea Dogs' first pre-season game is on Sunday night at Harbour Station when the team hosts the reigning Memorial Cup champion Acadie-Bathurst Titan at 7 p.m. The game is free to attend but fans must pick up tickets.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Sea Dogs make two picks in Import Draft

For a second straight year, the Saint John Sea Dogs made two selections in the CHL Import Draft.

Saint John had the first overall pick in this year's draft and selected highly touted Slovakian forward Maxim Cajkovic. Then, with the 61st selection, the Sea Dogs added another forward, picking Filip Prikryl of the Czech Republic.

“Our team philosophy with import spots is that they are used for elite goal scoring and point producing top six forwards,” said Sea Dogs president and general manager Trevor Georgie. “That is going to be the composition we strive for year after year, especially as we build for our next championship.”

Both are 17 and are eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft. Cajkovic is projected to be a first round pick.

“He has a great toolbox, he’s a smart player, and he will grow with our young talented nucleus,” said Georgie about Cajkovic. “He is excited to be a Sea Dog. He can’t wait to get here and will be very motivated in his NHL Draft year. He is very proud to wear our jersey and wants to be part of what is happening here in Saint John.”
Cajkovic comes to Saint John after spending this past season with the Malmo Redhawks junior program in Sweden (this is a feat in itself as very few players from Sweden make the switch to the CHL). He put up exceptional numbers last year, recording 24 goals in 38 games between the under-18 and under-20 teams.
Cajkovic was dominant at the World Under-18 Hockey Championship this year, finishing second in tournament scoring with four goals and seven assists in five games. American Jack Hughes, considered the top prospect for the 2019 NHL Draft, finished with one more point.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Sea Dogs to pick first in Import Draft

The Saint John Sea Dogs will pick first overall in Thursday's CHL Import Draft.

This will mark the second time in franchise history that Saint John has selected first. In 2009, the Sea Dogs picked Stanislav Galiev with the top pick.

Thursday's draft begins at noon Atlantic time and will be conducted online. Fans can follow along on the CHL website.

Saint John also has the 61st pick in the draft (it will be much higher with many teams passing on picks) but it appears the team will make one selection. The Dogs traded defenceman Radim Salda to Rimouski recently, making Ostap Safin the lone import remaining on the squad.

As rumoured, goaltenders will be eligible to be selected in the Import Draft for the first time since 2013, which puts an end to a dumb rule. Logic says the Sea Dogs will select a forward on Thursday given their influx on young defenceman and need for scoring help.

Saint John hasn't picked higher than fifth overall in the Import Draft since 2014 when they took Jakub Zboril. The team hasn't had great luck in the Draft since the Galiev/Jurco picks in 2009. Their Draft last year - where they took Safin and Salda - was probably the team's best since '09.

The WHL's Edmonton Oil Kings will select second on Thursday followed by the OHL's Sudbury Wolves.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Veleno, Salda drafted into NHL

Embed from Getty Images

Two former Saint John Sea Dogs had their names called at this weekend's NHL Draft in Dallas.

Former captain Joe Veleno was selected 30th overall by the Detroit Red Wings on Friday while defenceman Radim Salda was selected 206th overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

Veleno was traded to the Drummondville Voltigeurs at Christmas while Salda was recently moved to the Rimouski Oceanic to free up an import spot.

Veleno, the first overall pick in the 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft and the first player to be granted exceptional player status in league history, slid down the draft rankings much of the season and slid further than many expected on Friday.

A post shared by Joseph Veleno (@__jv90__) on
“We had him extremely high on the board,” Red Wings director of amateur scouting Tyler Wright told the Detroit Free Press. “I don’t want to do a lot of comparisons but he skates a lot like Dylan Larkin. He plays the game kind of like Dylan Larkin. I don’t want to compare him to Larkin, but he fits the mold of what we’re trying to accomplish. We want to be fast, we want to be competitive, and we want to produce more offense.”

Three of Detroit's top four picks in this year's draft came from the QMJHL: Halifax's Filip Zadina at No. 6, Veleno at No. 30 and Halifax's Jared McIsaac at No. 36.

Salda went around where most had projected him to go. The Lightning have been drafting a lot of QMJHL talent in recent years, so it wasn't shocking to see them use a seventh round pick on the offensive defenseman.

78 players from the CHL were selected in this year's draft - which included 23 from the QMJHL. Drummondville and Halifax each had four players selected.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Observations from development camp

By Lorne Webster | SN Staff
QUISPAMSIS - The Saint John Sea Dogs did something a bit different this year, holding a development camp for their new draftees and prospects.

All of the Sea Dogs' 2018 draft choices were present with the exception of two of the six players invited to Team Canada's under-17 camp – Mathias Savoie (fourth round, 62nd overall) and Dawson Stairs (seventh round, 109th overall) as well as second round US draftee – Cade DeStefani. Saint John Vito’s standout defenceman Kale McCullum was originally listed but did not scrimmage Saturday afternoon at the qplex.

The group was supplemented by second year players Nathan Larose, Luke Wilson, Aiden MacIntosh and Jeremie Jacob along with goaltenders Tommy DaSilva and Stewart Bagnell.

While it is early and caution from one practice is required - it was readily apparent that the team’s excitement and the draft pundits’ accolades are warranted. This draft class could be as good as – possibly even better than - that of 2013, when the Sea Dogs drafted the likes of Nathan Noel, Thomas Chabot, Mathieu Joseph and Samuel Dove-McFalls.
Here are some takeaways from Saturday's on-ice action in Quispamsis:

Jeremie Poirier – who draws comparisons to Chabot or Nathan Beaulieu - is a dynamic skater and puck handler who is prepared to push the pace at all times.

William Villeneuve – who draws comparisons to Noah Dobson – is an extremely strong skater who oozes poise and skill.

Charlie DesRoches - another defenceman with lots of skill and poise. He is likely to remind a number of Sea Dogs faithful of Pierre Durepos.

Nathan Larose - looked to be bigger and stronger. The returnee made a couple of spectacular end-to-end rushes with ‘bar down’ finishes. Following a strong second half of last season, Larose appears ready to take his game to another level next year.

Huberdeau inducted into Sea Dogs Hall of Fame

SAINT JOHN - Jonathan Huberdeau became the first inductee into the Saint John Sea Dogs Hall of Fame on Saturday at the Trade and Convention Centre.

The induction capped off a two-and-a-half hour ceremony that featured several speeches, hot stoves and a ring ceremony for the 2016-17 Sea Dogs team.

The most notable part of the evening - other than Huberdeau's induction - was probably the fact that Mike Thomas was announced as the second inductee into the Hall. There will presumably be some kind of ceremony for Thomas in the future.

Here are a few other news and notes from the evening:

  • According to a Sea Dogs release, 14 former players were in attendance: Jonathan Huberdeau, Mike Thomas, Zack Phillips, Bailey Webster, Thomas Chabot, Bokondji Imama, Simon Bourque, Phil Richer, Alex Leduc, Dave Comeau, Kyle Ward, Mathieu Joseph, Chase Stewart, and Samuel Dove-McFalls.
  • Current players and prospects greeted fans as they entered the venue on a red carpet.
  • The Sea Dogs held a development camp at the qplex over the weekend, and those players were in attendance. Many speeches made mention of them, and there were moments where the event felt like a recruitment tool.
  • The event had a cool feel to it with the 2018 draft class in attendance. It really felt like the franchise's culture of success was being handed off to them.
  • The videos created for the evening were excellent. Also played was the QMJHL's 50th anniversary video, which was played at the Draft. If you haven't seen it, you'll probably be fired up enough to run through a wall after watching it.
  • Memorial Cup champions Mike Thomas, Zack Phillips and Jonathan Huberdeau were on one stove while the other featured members of the 2016-17 QMJHL championship team: Mathieu Joseph, Kyle Ward and Thomas Chabot. Tara Slone form Hometown Hockey hosted the discussions.
  • Chabot, as expected, did not go into great detail when asked about how this past season went for him. His current team, the Ottawa Senators, is on fire.
  • One of the better (and perhaps cheesiest) videos of the night came from Mike Kelly and Gerard Gallant, who coached Huberdeau during his Sea Dogs days and again with the Florida Panthers.
  • Sea Dogs CEO and majority owner Scott McCain said during his speech that the Sea Dogs will again bid to host the Memorial Cup - but only if the team is ready. The next time the QMJHL will host (following Halifax in 2019) is 2022.
  • Former Sea Dogs assistant coach Greg Leland, who was Huberdeau's billet dad, had the longest and most emotional speech of the night.
  • A Sea Dogs release stated that over 500 people attended the event.
  • There still haven't been many details released about the Hall itself.
  • I don't know if this format will be a yearly event, but it was very well done. Very few teams (if any) in the CHL hold events like this.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Huberdeau to be inducted into Sea Dogs Hall of Fame tonight

SAINT JOHN - Florida Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau will become the first player inducted into the Saint John Sea Dogs Hall of Fame tonight.

A ceremony will be held this evening at the Saint John Trade and Convention Centre to induct Huberdeau into the club's Hall. The 24-year-old was selected for induction by an esteemed panel of Sea Dogs stakeholders, according to a team press release.

The Sea Dogs announced last summer the creation of a Hall of Fame. Not many details have been announced about the Hall itself, though.

The 2016-17 President Cup winning Sea Dogs team will also be honoured this evening. Players in attendance will receive their championship rings.

Players expected to be in attendance tonight include Thomas Chabot, Mathieu Joseph, Samuel Dove-McFalls, Simon Bourque, Bailey Webster, Cole Reginato, Kyle Ward, David Comeau, Chase Stewart, Mike Thomas, Zack Phillips, Spencer Smallman, Boko Imama and more.

The event will be hosted by Tara Slone of Sportsnet's Hometown Hockey.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Report: Salda traded to Rimouski

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs have traded defenceman Radim Salda to the Rimouski Oceanic.

The deal, which has not been made official by the league yet, will see the Sea Dogs receive a second and third round pick in the 2019 QMJHL Entry Draft for the offensive defensemen.
The Sea Dogs were expected to trade Salda as the team had no choice but to move him or forward Ostap Safin. Teams can carry only two imports, and with Saint John picking first in the CHL Import Draft, the Dogs had to make a deal.

Salda was one of the biggest surprises in the league last season, putting up 10 goals and 31 assists in 62 games. He was held pointless in seven games with the Czech Republic at the World Junior Hockey Championship. The 19-year-old, selected 113th overall in last year's Import Draft, was a relative unknown entering the 2017-18 season but could now hear his name called at the NHL Draft.

While the return isn't massive, it's pretty decent. Saint John was in a tough spot as teams knew they had to deal one of their imports.

Salda's loss is definitely a big loss for Saint John's defence - but there will be plenty of promising new faces filling his shoes on the blue line (faces that could use the experience and ice time in a rebuilding year like the one coming up).

The Sea Dogs will pick first in the June 28 CHL Import Draft, followed by the Edmonton Oil Kings, Sudbury Wolves and Shawinigan Cataractes.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

MHL holds annual draft

The Maritime Hockey League held its annual draft on Saturday in Berwick.

Three players selected by the Sea Dogs in this year's QMJHL Entry Draft heard their names selected. Defenceman Brendan Sibley and goaltender Stewart Bagnell, selected by Saint John last year, were also picked in the territorial portion of the draft.

Here's who went where, according to the MHL website:

Round 2: Kale McCallum (Edmundston Blizzard)
Round 6: Mathias Savoie (Campbellton Tigers)
Territorials 2: Brady Burns (Valley Wildcats)
Territorials 2: Stewart Bagnell (Miramichi Timberwolves)
Territorials 2: Brendon Sibley (Yarmouth Mariners)

The Valley Wildcats also selected four Sea Dogs in the QMJHL supplemental draft.
The St. Stephen Aces, meanwhile, had the first three overall picks in the draft. They selected Zachary Alchorn (forward - Saint John Vito's) first, Jack Morris (defenceman - Cape Breton West Islanders) second and Ethan Stuckless (forward - East Coast Blizzard) third.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

A look at who the Sea Dogs drafted

By Kevin Chambers | SN Staff

The 2018 QMJHL Entry Draft took place last weekend, so let's give a brief summary of each of the picks chosen by the Saint John Sea Dogs.

The reviews are based off the scouting reports provided by HockeyPropect.com in their annual QMJHL Draft Guide and are only a small portion of what they have to offer.

Round 1 - No. 2 overall: William Villeneuve
RD - 6’1” and 154lbs
With their top pick in the draft the Sea Dogs went with William Villeneuve of the Magog Cantonniers. Villeneuve is a right handed shooting defenceman and is considered to be very intelligent, offensive defenceman that is very reliable in all three zones. His passing is considered to be excellent both on the power play and breaking out of his own zone. Villeneuve also likes to carry the puck up ice and does so very efficiently. He also kills penalties and is often trusted by his coaches in difficult situations playing against top level players in all situations. Villeneuve’s potential sees him as a first pairing defender and a power play quarterback.

Round 1 - No. 8 overall: Jeremie Poirier
LD - 6’0” and 177lbs
With their second selection in the opening round, the Sea Dogs went with another defender in Jeremie Poirier. Poirier can read the play very well and makes a strong first pass. Much like Villeneuve, this defender is also a quarterback on the power play - with the difference being that he shoots left handed. He has high-end puck skills and has a hard, accurate shot. Poirier, like many young defenders, will look to get stronger and continue to improve his defensive play in his own zone.

Round 1 - No. 15 overall: Joshua Lawrence
C - 5’ 9” and 163lbs
With the 15th overall selection, the Sea Dogs rolled the dice a little bit by selecting centre Joshua Lawrence, who spent last season with the Selects Hockey Academy U-16 program. Lawrence had verbally committed to Boston University for 2020-21. Lawrence has very quick hands and can score goals using his quick release and above average puck skills. Lawrence showed that he is ready to play against older players as he did this past season - which did not hamper his offensive production.

Round 2 - No. 29 overall: Brady Burns
C/LW - 5’8” and 139lbs
Brady Burns is an intelligent player with a very high compete level. Unfortunately for Burns, his season was cut short by injury, only getting in 26 games - but he was still able to pick up 39 points. Burns has very good edges and an outstanding work ethic that fans will enjoy. Burns projects to be more of a playmaking forward and will need to get a little bit stronger in the off-season as he does have a slender frame. Burns is the son of Acadia Axemen head coach Darren Burns.

Six Dogs prospects invited to U-17 camp

Six Saint John Sea Dogs prospects have been invited to Hockey Canada's Under-17 Development Camp.

Forwards Josh Lawrence (first round, 15th overall) and Dawson Stairs (seventh round, 109th overall); defencemen Charlie DesRoches (second round, 32nd overall), Jeremie Poirier (first round, eighth overall) and William Villeneuve (first round, second overall); and goaltender Mathias Savoie (fourth round, 62nd overall) have all been invited to the camp, which will take place July 21-27 at the Markin MacPhail Centre at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.
According to Hockey Canada, "following the development camp, players will continue to be evaluated through the early season before 66 are named to one of three Canadian national teams – Team Canada Black, Team Canada Red, and Team Canada White."

While the Sea Dogs may be missing a chunk of their team for a couple weeks during this tournament, fans won't have to go far to watch them. The World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will take place Nov. 3-10 at Harbour Station and the qplex. Tickets are now available.

All six players were selected by the Sea Dogs in last weekend's QMJHL Entry Draft in Shawinigan. 111 players were invited in total, 28 of which have been drafted into the QMJHL.