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.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Final NHL Draft Rankings

With the Draft Combine wrapping up this weekend, junior and college hockey completed for another season and the Stanley Cup playoffs set to wrap up over the next week or so, it is time to take a look ahead to the draft on June 22-23 in Pittsburgh. Sarnia Sting, Nail Yakupov still tops the list, however the rankings after him have changed and in some cases dramatically.
Among new comers to the list Teuvo Teravainen ranks highest at #8. Starting the season on Jokerit's Junior club Teravainen finished up in the SM-Liiga scoring 18 points in 40 games. 8 points in 6 games at the World Under 18 tournament also helped Teravainen draft status. Henrik Samuelsson finds himself on our top 30 list as well as he is ranked 18th largely in part to his strong showing at the Memorial Cup (5 points in 4 games) and throughout the WHL playoffs for the Edmonton Oil Kings. The son of former NHL defence man Ulf Samuelsson, Henrik left Modo of the Swedish Elite league to come to Edmonton halfway through the season.
The top ranked defenceman is Everett Silvertip Ryan Murray. After his WHL team bowed out in a 4 game sweep, Murray was invited to represent his country at the World Hockey Championships as Canada's 7th defence man. With very little playing time, just being asked to play at the senior international level vaulted Murray to #2 on our list. Malcolm Subban of the Belleville Bulls is the top ranked goaltender for the draft. Subban is the younger brother of Montreal's P.K..
The Edmonton Oilers hold the 1st overall pick for the third straight year and really need defence man. Nail Yakupov might be to enticing to pass up on and would most certainly fit in with the Oilers young crop of forwards. Past #1 picks Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall both made the NHL the season they were drafted.
Here is our list of top 30 NHL prospects for the Draft. Previous ranking is in parenthesis.

1. Nail Yakupov (1) LW --> Sarnia, OHL
2. Ryan Murray (5) D --> Everett, WHL
3. Filip Forsberg (4) RW --> Leksands, SWE
4. Mikhail Grigorenko (2) RW --> Quebec, QMJHL
5. Matt Dumba (3) D --> Red Deer, WHL
6. Alex Galchenyuk (11) RW --> Sarnia, OHL
7. Morgan Reilly (7) D --> Moose Jaw, WHL
8. Teuvo Teravainen (NR) LW --> Jokerit, FIN
9. Griffin Reinhart (10) D --> Edmonton, WHL
10. Cody Ceci (18) D --> Ottawa, OHL
11. Jacob Trouba (6) D -->USNTDP, U18
12. Sebastien Collberg (12) RW --> Vastra, SWE
13. Brendan Gaunce (8) C --> Belleville, OHL
14. Olli Maata (9) D --> London, OHL
15. Matt Finn (14) D --> Guelph, OHL
16. Radek Faksa (15) LW --> Kitchener, OHL
17. Hampus Lindholm (27) RW --> Rogle, SWE
18. Henrik Samuelsson (NR) RW --> Edmonton, WHL
19. Derick Pouliot (16) D --> Portland, WHL
20. Malcolm Subban (21) G --> Belleville, OHL
21. Pontus Aberg (13) LW --> Djurgarden, SWE
22.Thomas Hertl (19) LW --> Slavia, CZE
23. Zemgus Girgensons (20) C --> Dubuque, USHL
24. Thomas Wilson (NR) RW --> Plymouth, OHL
25. Colton Sissons (NR) C --> Kelowna, WHL
26. Ludvig Bystrom (NR) D --> Modo, SWE
27. Phillip Di Guiseppe (28) LW --> Michigan, CCHA
28. Slater Koekkoek (24) D --> Peterborough, OHL
29. Martin Frk (29) RW --> Halifax, QMJHL
30. Andrei Vasilevski (17) G --> Ufa, KHL