Sunday, June 10, 2012

QMJHL Entry Draft

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League held its annual Midget Draft in Quebec City on Saturday. The 18 teams in the league selected players from Quebec, Atlantic Canada and Northeastern United States, even 2 players from Ontario were selected.
The expansion Sherbrooke Phoenix held the first overall pick and selected Daniel Audette from College Esther-Blondin of the Quebec Midget AAA league. Audette is the son of former NHL player Donald, who played for 6 teams from 1990-2004. The Esther-Blondin Phenix finished the season as National Runner-Up and were led by Daniel's 17 points in 7 games at the Telus Cup. At 5'7.5" and 166 pounds, Audette will be the offensive force driving the Sherbrooke team through their first couple of years.
Selection 2 belonged to the PEI Rocket and they added 6'2" Alexis Pepin from Quebec's Charles-Lemoyne Midget team. the 196 pounder will fit nicely into the young core of Rocket players. Cape Breton selected St. John's Pennecon Privateer Clark Bishop with the third overall pick. Cape Breton is in a rebuilding stage and the Newfoundlander's skating ability and offensive instincts may allow him to play right away.
The next 2 picks were used on defenceman as Gatineau selected Alexandre Carrier from Antoine-Girouard and Baie-Comeau picked Loik Leveille from St-Eustace both from Quebec. Carrier is 5'10.5" and 165 while Leveille stands 5'11" and 199.
In all 254 players were selected with the majority coming from Quebec with 162. The U.S produced 37 picks. Nova Scotia led the way for Atlantic provinces with 24 selections followed by New Brunswick with 12, Newfoundland with 9 and Prince Edward Island with 8. 2 players were selected from Magog in Ontario.
Their were a number of trades made over the weekend with the majority of them being draft picks for draft picks, however their is one worth mentioning. Shawinigan traded Memorial Cup hero Anton Zlobin, who scored both goals in the final including the overtime winner, to Val-d'Or. In exchange the Cataractes received Yan Dumontier and 3 draft picks, a second and third round selection this year plus a first round pick at the Import draft. Zlobin is a 1993 born player while Dumontier is a year younger.
The 2012-13 season promises to be a very exciting and competitive year. With last seasons powerhouses all losing top players the spotlight will most likely shift to Halifax and shine on 2011 first overall pick Nathan MacKinnon.

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