Saturday, June 9, 2012

Potential Picks

The Saint John Sea Dogs will pick twice (maybe three times) in the first round of Saturday’s Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft. At the moment, the Sea Dogs will be picking 8th and 11th overall.

Who will the Sea Dogs pick? Well, there seems to be three names that keep being thrown around – goaltender Mason McDonald, defenseman Cody Donaghey, and forward Matthew Highmore.

Here’s a closer look at all three players.

Mason McDonald – Goaltender
Ranked 7th by Central Scouting and is the top ranked goaltender in the draft. The 16-year old Halifax native is six-foot-three. It’s been said a bunch of places that he likes to move the puck and should benefit from the QMJHL dumping the trapezoid next season.

“If Mason goes early, we’ll see (15th-ranked Keven) Bouchard go maybe two, three picks after,” QMJHL director of scouting Pierre Leduc said to Metro Halifax. “The teams that need a goaltender this year, they need to act fast.”

“He constantly challenges the puck, has good technique and he moves well for his size,” Leduc told the Chronicle Herald. “Mason excels also in handling the puck behind the net. He’s easily able to facilitate the defencemen’s work. He really controls the puck well when the other team shoots it around the boards. He’s always there to stop it and if he has a free guy right away, he’s able to make a pass.”

According to the Herald, he posted a 2.01 goals against average, .920 save percentage and 14-1 record with the MSMMHL’s Halifax Titans last season.

In Steve Turcotte’s mock draft, he has McDonald slipping to 11th and being picked by Saint John.

Cody Donaghey – Defenseman
Ranked 9th by Central Scouting and is the third highest ranked defensemen. The six foot 16-year old played with the St. John’s Maple Leafs major midget team this past season.

“He’s so smart,” Maple Leafs coach and QMJHL Newfoundland scout Darren Halloran told The Telegram. “He sees seam passes that only the pros see. He has no problem carrying the puck, he’s a very offensive defenseman and he’s very physical when need be.

“Cody’s got the whole package. As long as he has a great summer of training and gets ready for camp and goes in prepared, I’m expecting to see him stick up there next year.”

Cody’s older brother, Connor, was the Maple Leafs’ captain this past season. He’ll be attending Sea Dogs training camp in August.

The Telegram has a solid article on the two and the chemistry they have created.

Steve Turcotte has picked Donaghey to go eighth overall to Saint John.

Matthew Highmore – Forward
Ranked 11th by Central Scouting. He played with Dartmouth Taylor Flooring (seriously) of the NSMMHL last season. Accordingto the Chronicle Herald, the five-foot-11 forward had 13 goals and 13 assists in 25 regular season games and added 11 points in 16 playoff games.

A lot of the Halifax media has indicated over the past couple of days that the Sea Dogs could be going after Highmore.

“He’s a power forward,” Leduc told the Chronicle Herald. “He’s a very talented centre. He’s an above average skater and he has an excellent feel for the game. He’s a good puck carrier with good anticipation. Matthew also has a very good work ethic. He will need to complete his game around the net a little more to get more points ... but I think he can do that. He is a very talented player.”

Steve Turcotte doesn’t have him going in the first round in his mock draft.

Image via NLMMHL website

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