Monday, June 27, 2016

CHL Import Draft happens Tuesday

The 2016 CHL Import Draft takes place on Tuesday at noon.

The Saint John Sea Dogs have two Europeans on their roster who are eligible to return next season – defensemen Jakub Zboril and Oliver Felixson – so the team doesn’t necessarily need to pick.

The Sea Dogs’ first pick is 42nd overall. Their second round pick is 102nd overall. Teams are no longer allowed to trade picks.

The WHL’s Kootenay Ice will select first followed by the OHL’s Guelph Storm and QMJHL’s Baie-Comeau Drakkar.

The Halifax Mooseheads will pick sixth, meaning a very talented import could be coming to the Maritimes Division next season.
The Sea Dogs have selected at least one player in each Import Draft since 2012. Last year, the team used both picks, taking Felixson at No. 25 and defenseman Frantisek Hrdinka at No. 85.

Hrdinka, who was ranked 104th amongst European skaters by NHL Central Scouting for the draft but not picked, spent last season playing in the Czech Republic.

The Import Draft can be followed on the CHL website.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Sunday, June 26, 2016

NHL development camp invites sent out

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With the NHL Draft now complete, teams have begun to send out development camp invitations.

Sea Dogs forward Matthew Highmore received an invite to Montreal Canadiens development camp again this year, according to RDS.
However, the Telegraph-Journal (paywall) reports that Highmore has been invited to Florida Panthers camp. Either way, he’s going somewhere.

The 20-year-old had a career season with the Sea Dogs in 2015-16, recording 22 goals and 53 assists in 65 games. He added another nine goals and 11 assists in 17 playoff matches.

Meanwhile, former Dogs defenseman Matt Murphy has been invited to Anaheim Ducks camp.
Murphy, who played the second half of his final junior season with Saint John, had eight goals and 21 assists with the Dogs. He had another four goals and five assists in 17 playoff games – many of which were played through an injury.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Green, Noel picked in NHL Draft

BUFFALO, NY – Luke Green was selected 79th overall by the Winnipeg Jets at the NHL Draft on Saturday.

The Sea Dogs defenseman was selected in the ballpark where he was expected to be picked. For example, HockeyProspect.com had him going 77th overall while International Scouting Services had him at No. 88.

Green, selected first overall in the 2014 QMJHL Entry Draft, had 10 goals and 35 points in 61 games this past season. He added three points in 13 playoff matches.

The 18-year-old is the first Sea Dog to be taken by the Jets/Thrashers organization.
Green wasn’t the only Sea Dog selected as forward Nathan Noel was taken 113th overall by the Chicago Blackhawks.

Dubois taken 3rd overall by Jackets

BUFFALO, NY – The first surprise of the NHLDraft came with the third overall pick.

Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine went first and second overall to the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets, respectively – as expected. But with the third overall selection, the Columbus Blue Jackets opted to take Pierre-Luc Dubois.
While it wasn’t an off the board pick, Dubois was projected to go lower in the top 10, likely around five or six. But the Jackets chose to take the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles forward over Jesse Puljujarvi and Matthew Tkachuk.

Val-d’Or’s Julien Gauthier, who went 21st overall to the Carolina Hurricanes, was the only other QMJHL player to be selected in the first round.
It’s not a great draft year for the QMJHL, but a number of players should be chosen early Saturday when rounds 2-7 take place. Among them could be Sea Dogs defenseman Luke Green.

Sea Dogs forward Nathan Noel and defenseman Oliver Felixson could also be selected while prospects Marshall Rifai and Jamie Armstrong could be picked as well.

The second portion of the draft takes place on Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. at Buffalo’s First Niagara Centre.

Friday, June 24, 2016

NHL Draft begins tonight

BUFFALO, NY – Tonight’s first round of the 2016 NHL Draft is not expected to be a great one for the QMJHL.

Cape Breton’s Pierre-Luc Dubois has a strong chance at being a top five pick. Val-d’Or’s Julien Gauthier, Gatineau’s Vitaly Abramov, Victoriaville’s Pascal Laberge and Shawinigan’s Samuel Girard are the QMJHL’s other top prospects – but not all will be selected in tonight’s portion of the draft.

After having seven players selected in last year’s NHL Draft – including two in the first round – this will be a light year for the Sea Dogs. The only lock to be selected is Luke Green, who is projected to go in the second or third round by most draft publications.

The Chronicle Herald and Local Xpress have articles on Green heading into the draft.

Nathan Noel and Oliver Felixson were also listed in NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings. Prospects Jamie Armstrong and Marshall Rifai could also be picked.

The Providence Journal has an article on Armstrong, who could be the first player picked from Rhode Island since 2009.

The 2016 NHL Draft takes place tonight and tomorrow at Buffalo’s First Niagara Centre

Thursday, June 23, 2016

More Hub City Showcase details released

Further details on the inaugural Hub City Showcase have emerged.

A website has been launched, HubCityShowcase.com, which will eventually have details on the tournament.

According to the Times & Transcript (paywall), tickets for the pre-season tournament, which will take place Aug. 19-21 at Moncton’s Superior Propane Centre, will go on sale Aug. 2. An adult tournament pass will cost $30 while a day pass will cost $15.

All six Maritimes Division teams will be playing in the tournament, which will feature mostly 16- and 17-year-old players will little or no QMJHL experience.

The Q News has the full schedule.