Saturday, May 31, 2014

Who Did Saint John Pick Today?

SHERBROOKE, Que. – It was a busy QMJHL Entry Draft for the Saint John Sea Dogs.

In total, the Sea Dogs drafted 14 players. That number includes two picks in the first round and three in the top 22 selections.

Saint John had the top pick of the draft and selected defenseman Luke Green. Later on in the opening round, with the 15th overall pick, the Sea Dogs took forward Julien Tessier. Info on those two can be found in separate posts here and here.

Here is a look at Saint John’s other picks.

Second round, 22nd overall - Matt Green
The Sea Dogs didn’t waste much time in snagging 16-year old Matt Green, the twin brother of Luke.

Matt, a 5’10" and 151 lbs forward, had 14 goals and 24 assists in in 34 games with Newbridge Academy of the Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League last season. He added another five goals and 12 assists in 17 playoff games. His 34 points was good for fourth in NSMMHL rookie scoring.

He also had a solid Gatorade Excellence Challenge with Team Nova Scotia, registering five goals and an assist in five games.

Matt was ranked 52nd by QMJHL Central Scouting and 36th by HockeyProspect.com.

“Matt is a great skater who is able to use all edges with ease and at full speed,” writes HockeyProspect.com. “He is slippery in traffic, and can show some real agility with and without the puck. Offensively, he really enjoys using the periphery as his playground, seeking linemates in seams to pass to and can be extremely accurate, with perfect timing. Matt plays a great switch game, preferring that and give-and-go situation to a cycle game. His puck control is elite and on par with his brother.”

Fourth round, 59th overall – Ryan Kenny
Kenny is a big 16-year old forward who played with the Miramichi Rivermen of the NB/PEI Major Midget Hockey League last season. Listed at 6’2”, 196 lbs, Kenny recorded four goals, six assists, and 104 penalty minutes in 34 games with the Rivermen. He added an assist in four playoff games.

The Bathurst native played with Team New Brunswick at the Gatorade Excellence Challenge where he recorded a goal and two assists in five games.

“Kenny is a big, tall forward who displayed a strong power-forward skating style,” writes HockeyProspect.com in their draft guide. “Kenny is more of a patient player, looking for opportunities and reading the play. He has a good skillset with the puck and can handle it while skating in traffic as well.”

Kenny was ranked 49th by HockeyProspect.com

Big Draft Day For Sea Dogs

SHERBROOKE, Que. – The Saint John Sea Dogs had an eventful day at the annual QMJHL Entry Draft, selecting 14 players.

Here is who the Sea Dogs selected today:

1st round, 1st – D Luke Green - Newbridge (NS) - 1998
1ST round, 15th – F Julien Tessier - Trois-Rivieres (Que) - 1998
2nd round, 22nd – F Matt Green - Newbridge (NS) - 1998
4th round, 59th – F Ryan Kenny - Miramichi (NB) - 1998
4th round, 67th – F Declan Smith - Cape Breton (NS) - 1998
5th round, 91st – D Jake Massie - John Rennie (Que) - 1997
7th round, 113th – F Monty Graham - Thayer (Mass) - 1998
8th round, 131st – D Cody Grant - Halifax (NS) - 1998
8th round, 145th – D Marshall Rifai - LSL Tigers (Que) - 1998
9th round, 149th – F Kyle Ward - Moncton (NB) – 1997
11th round, 185th – G Blade Mann-Dixon - Valley (NS) - 1997
12th round, 203rd – F Alexandre Joncas - Antoine-Girouard (Que) - 1997
13th round, 221st – F Francis Theriault - Campbellton (NB) - 1997
14th round, 239th – F Lincoln Griffin - Thayer (Mass) – 1997

We will break down each pick in a post later this evening.

Dogs Take Tessier 15th Overall

SHERBROOKE, Que. – Julien Tessier is now a member of the Saint John Sea Dogs.

The Sea Dogs selected Tessier with the 15th overall pick in today’s Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft. It was Saint John’s second pick of the first round after selecting defenseman Luke Green first overall earlier in the day.

Tessier is a 16-year old centre who played in the Quebec Midget AAA ranks last season. In 38 regular season games he scored seven goals and 14 assists with the Trois-Rivieres Estacades and another four goals and five assists in five playoff games.

At the Gatorade Excellence Challenge, Tessier registered an assist in five games with Team Quebec White.

“He’s a player who likes to control the puck and lead the rush,” writes HockeyProspect.com in their draft guide. “His skating abilities help him create room on the ice. He also has improved his play in his zone this season. He has better positioning and makes better reads in the defensive zone now. He’s also better now in his one-on-one battles, with and without the puck.”

HockeyProspect.com ranked him as the 19th best player available while QMJHL Central Scouting placed him 24th.

Saint John’s next pick is in the second round, 22nd overall.

Dogs Pick Luke Green First Overall

SHERBROOKE, Que. – The Saint John Sea Dogs didn’t surprise anyone with the top pick in the 2014 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft.

As expected, the Sea Dogs selected Newbridge Academy defenseman Luke Green first overall. Green, an offensive defenseman, recorded 17 goals and 20 assists in 34 regular season Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League games last season. He added another seven goals and 11 assists in 16 post-season games.

Green also impressed at the QMJHL’s Gatorade Excellence Challenge, finishing second in tournament scoring with three goals and 11 points in five games with Team Nova Scotia.

The 16-year old from Bedford was ranked fourth by HockeyProspect.com and fifth by QMJHL Central Scouting.

“When watching him play, you are instantly drawn in and as you continue to watch, you become aware that his skating provides the foundation for solid puck handling skill that at times can leave you breathless,” writes HockeyProspect.com. “Every shift he is on the ice is a potential to make an amazing play with the puck. His offensive hockey IQ is perhaps the most developed out of this draft class, as he anticipates and reads the game at an elite level, creating opportunities where others do not see them.”

“Luke is at his best in transition thanks to the smoothness of his skating stride,” QMJHL scouting director Pascal Legault said. “He still needs some work on his play in his own zone, however. He sees the ice really well though. That’s in part what makes him so dangerous on the power-play.”

Green is listed at 5’11”, 168 lbs. Over the past few weeks, scouting folks have been comparing him to Erik Karlsson and Kris Letang.

The addition of Green gives the Sea Dogs a really solid defensive core moving forward with the likes of Olivier LeBlanc, Will Thompson, Thomas Chabot, and others returning.

This pick also keeps the tradition of the Dogs taking d-men with the first overall pick alive. Saint John picked first in 2005, 2006, and 2007 and selected defensemen each time (Alex Grant, Yann Sauve, and Simon Despres).

Saint John also has the 15th overall selection in today's first-round.

Huberdeau In Attendance

Per Allan Walsh, Jonathan Huberdeau will be announcing the first overall pick at today's draft.

It's Draft Day

SHERBROOKE, Que. – Here we go.

It’s draft day in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and it’s a big one for the Saint John Sea Dogs. For the fourth time in team history and for the first time since 2007, the Sea Dogs will make the first overall pick.

It is widely expected that the Sea Dogs will take defenseman Luke Green with the top pick. After the top few picks, things will get interesting as team's opinions on players could vary quite a bit.

Saint John will also be picking 15th overall and are also the owners of the second pick of the second-round (22nd overall).

Here is where the Dogs are, for the time being, picking today:

1st round, #1 overall
1st round, #15 overall
2nd round, #22 overall
4th round, #59 overall
4th round, #67 overall
7th round, #113 overall
8th round, #131 overall
9th round, #149 overall
11th round, #185 overall
12th round, #203 overall
13th round, #221 overall
14th round, #239 overall

The 2014 QMJHL Entry Draft begins at 11 am Atlantic time.

It’s not too late to purchase the HockeyProspect.com Draft Guide, a terrific resource for today’s event.

Once again this year, MAtv will be streaming the draft (coverage begins at 10 am). It’s in French but quite a few of the interviews with Maritime players and teams are done in English.

Also, picks will be posted as they happen on the QMJHL website. Myself (station_nation) and Kevin (SNCanucklehead) will also be tweeting updates. And of course, this blog will update throughout the day.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Notebook: Friday Trading Aftermath

SHERBROOKE, Que. - On Friday, the Sea Dogs officially picked up the 15th overall pick from Charlottetown, meaning the Dogs now have two first-round picks for Saturday's draft.

Having two first-round picks in nothing new for Saint John. The Sea Dogs selected twice in 2007 (Simon Despres and Steven Anthony), 2009 (Pierre Durepos and Jonathan Huberdeau), 2012 (Matthew Highmore and Olivier LeBlanc) and 2013 (Nathan Noel and Will Thompson).

Of note, each time the Dogs have had two first rounders they picked a forward and a defenseman.

COOPER AFTERMATH
Islanders general manager Grant Sonier told The Guardian that he believes the price his club paid to acquire Oliver Cooper was appropriate.

“People might suggest we paid a lot for him, I’m going to suggest otherwise," Sonier said. "To go through the league and find six-foot-three, 30-goal scorers that have character, it’s a very short list.”

Cooper led Saint John in scoring last season with 28 goals and 29 assists in 68 games. With Cooper gone, Matthew Highmore is the only returning player that had over 40 points (he had 50 in 68 games).

YOUNG SPEAKS
The Sea Dogs website has a solid interview with Sea Dogs general manager Darrell Young conducted by Tim Roszell. In the interview, Young discusses each deal, some of the free agents that are coming in for training camp, and offers an early outlook on next year’s squad.

GOLF
CHILLER
The federal government helped fund a new ice plant chiller at Harbour Station and they want you to know about it. The thing is quite expensive.

“The Government of Canada, through ACOA, is investing $81,497 under the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF), while the Harbour Station Commission is contributing $126,829,” states a press release.

That’s literally cool news, I guess.

HockeyProspect.com Releases Mock Draft

HockeyProspect.com’s mock draft has the Saint John Sea Dogs selecting Luke Green first overall tomorrow.

The website ranks Green as the fourth best player available in this year’s draft class behind Chad Krys, Samuel Girard, and Pascal Laberge.

The Sea Dogs also picked up the 15th overall selection in tomorrow’s draft from the Charlottetown Islanders in the Oliver Cooper trade. HockeyProspect.com predicts the Sea Dogs will select forward Keith Getson with that pick. In 29 games with the Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League’s South Shore Mustangs, the Yarmouth native registered 18 goals and 10 assists in 29 games. He added another six goals and eight assists in 11 playoff games.

HockeyProspect.com ranks Getson as the 18th best player available.

If you have not purchased HockeyProspect.com’s excellent QMJHL Draft Guide, you should do that.

In related news, Le Droit reports that the Gatineau Olympiques will pick second overall tomorrow. They will send the fourth and 16th overall picks to Sherbrooke in exchange.

The 2014 QMJHL Entry Draft takes place tomorrow at 11am Atlantic time in Sherbrooke.

Photo via Facebook

Expected Deals Made Official

The Saint John Sea Dogs have acquired another first-round pick for tomorrow’s QMJHL Entry Draft.

Saint John picked up the 15th overall pick in tomorrow’s draft along with a 2016 first-rounder from the Charlottetown Islanders in exchange for veteran forward Oliver Cooper.

This deal has been rumoured/reported for a couple weeks now and become official today when the trade period opened up. It seems to give both teams what they want – the Isles get a big, veteran forward who can put some points up while the Sea Dogs get another first-round pick.
Cooper led the Sea Dogs in scoring last season with 28 goals and 29 assists in 68 games. The 19-year old Fredericton native was drafted 19th overall by the Dogs in the 2012 QMJHL Entry Draft. He leaves Saint John with 45 goals and 55 assists in 195 regular season contests.

The Sea Dogs were not done there. As expected, a number of other deals were made official.

Notebook: Feels Like Christmas Eve

The big day is almost here.

Tomorrow morning, the Sea Dogs will (unless a trade happens) take the stage in Sherbrooke and make the first overall pick in the 2014 QMJHL Entry Draft.

Shawinigan reporter Steve Turcotte published his first-round mock draft yesterday and he, like most, has the Sea Dogs selecting offensive defenseman Luke Green first overall. He then has Pascal Laberge going second overall and Samuel Girard third.

Some other notes on the eve of the draft…
  • Some cool numbers tweeted out by the Sea Dogs the other day: "@SeaDogsHockey have selected 113 players in their nine previous drafts. 64 of them have played at least one game for the team."
  • The Sea Dogs website has an article on Yann Sauve and what it was like to be selected first overall in 2006.
  • Willy Palov’s Friday column in the Chronicle Herald is on the Sea Dogs’ rebuild. “They are still at least one more year away from competing for a league title again, but their star nucleus is taking shape and there is at least light at the end of the tunnel for fans,” writes Palov.
  • Metro Halifax has an article on the two Newbridge Academy teammates – defenseman Luke Green and goaltender Evan Fitzpatrick – who are expected to go high in Saturday’s draft. The article also discusses Green’s twin brother, Matt.
  • Buzzing The Net previews the draft and some of the storylines heading into the weekend.
  • As Islanders Country reports, the Gatineau Olympiques and Charlottetown Islanders were involved in a trading issue involving Vaclav Karabacek. Bizarre to see a team that isn't the Sea Dogs involved in this kind of issue.
  • Import Evgeny Svechnikov has committed to play for the Screaming Eagles next season. He was the 63rd overall pick in last year’s CHL Import Draft.
  • The Wildcats announced yesterday that Russian Vladimir Tkachev will be returning to the club next season. He recorded 10 goals and 20 assists in 20 games with Moncton last season.
  • Another reminder: the trading period opens today and the Entry Draft takes place tomorrow at 11am Atlantic time. We will have all day coverage here and over on the Twitter machine.

It's Trade Day

And so it begins.

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's trading period opens up today, signalling the real beginning of draft weekend. A lot of the deals that have been rumoured/reported for some time will be made official, including several made by the Saint John Sea Dogs.

Here is a rundown of the reported deals involving the Sea Dogs. Remember that these are media reports and they may not be completely accurate. We’ll find out how true they are soon enough.

To Saint John: 2017 5th-round pick
To Quebec: Nicolas Hebert 
To Saint John: Mark Tremaine
To Victoriaville: 2014 7th-round pick 
To Saint John: 2014 15th overall pick and 2016 1st-round pick
To Charlottetown: Oliver Cooper 
To Saint John: 2016 6th-round pick
To Bathurst: Antoine Landry 
To Saint John: 2016 4th-round pick
To Gatineau: Joey Richard 
To Saint John: 2015 4th-round pick
To Gatineau: Noah Zilbert

That’s a lot of deals for a team that has been quiet on the draft trade front for the past several years. New Sea Dogs general manager Darrell Young is really putting his mark on the 2014-15 team.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Report: Zilbert Traded To Gatineau

To say the Saint John Sea Dogs' offense will have a different look next season would be an understatement.

Mikael Lalancette of TVA Sports tweeted today that the Sea Dogs will send forward Noah Zilbert to the Gatineau Olympiques tomorrow in exchange for a 2015 fourth-round draft pick.

Zilbert was a fourth-round pick of Saint John in the 2012 QMJHL Entry Draft. The speedy forward recorded 24 goals and 17 assists in 132 games with the Dogs over two seasons. Last year he registered 16 goals and eight assists in 65 contests.

Consistency was always an issue for the Fredericton native. Of his 16 goals last season, he had only four in the first half and four after January. Half of his goal total came in the month of January.

Zilbert will turn 19 in July.

The Sea Dogs and Olympiques have become quite frequent trading partners over the past few seasons. The Dogs will also reportedly be sending Joey Richard to Gatineau tomorrow.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Three Years Ago...

Before spending the next few days discussing the future of the Saint John Sea Dogs, let us take a moment to appreciate the past.

It was three years ago today that Simon Despres, Zack Phillips, and Jonathan Huberdeau scored to give the Sea Dogs a 3-1 victory over the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors and win Atlantic Canada’s first Memorial Cup championship.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Repe Signs With Czech Team [Update]

Defenseman Jurij Repe has signed with AZ Havirov of the Czech II league.

Repe has spent the past two seasons with the Sea Dogs but it was highly unlikely he would return for a third. The defender is a native of Slovenia and turns 20 in September, meaning he would take up both an import and an overage spot.

In 49 games with Saint John last season, Repe recorded seven goals and 13 assists. The year prior he registered three goals and eight assists in 38 contests.

Repe was selected by the Sea Dogs with the 34th overall pick in the 2012 CHL Import Draft.

The very exciting 2014 edition of the Import Draft will take place on July 2. The Sea Dogs will select fifth overall.

UPDATE: Some clarification...
Thanks to The Q News for the tip; Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Mackenzie Brown Returning To Woodstock

The Woodstock Slammers announced today that Mackenzie Brown has committed to the team for the 2014-15 season.

Brown, a soon-to-turn-19-year old forward, has played in 108 games with the Saint John Sea Dogs over the past three seasons. He played 39 regular season games with the Slammers in 2011-12 and then went on to help the team reach the RBC Cup.

"We are obviously super excited to have Mackenzie this season,” Slammers head coach Justin Bowers said in a release. “Not only does he bring two years of Major Junior experience, he won a Kent Cup, Fred Page Cup, and was an RBC finalist as a 16 year old here in Woodstock. Being from Tobique First Nation, he brings more local flavor to our team which we think is important. We look for Mackenzie to have an impact on our power play and overall offense."

Brown was mostly used as a third/fourth line defensive forward during his time with the Sea Dogs. Last season he registered three goals and two assists in 59 games. With new youth and free agents coming in this off-season, it was unlikely Brown would make the squad.

"I'm really excited to get back to Woodstock where my junior career started and is going to end,” Brown said. “I'm hoping to bring back another championship to the town.”

Brown was a fourth-round pick of the Sea Dogs in the 2011 QMJHL Entry Draft. Oliver Cooper is expected to be traded on Friday, meaning Stephen Anderson is the only player on the Sea Dogs’ current roster from the 2011 draft (that the Dogs picked).

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Notebook: Draft Day Is Nearing

The 2014 QMJHL Entry Draft is just days away.

The Sea Dogs hold the first overall pick for Saturday’s Entry Draft. Although they are rumoured to be favouring Luke Green, general manager Darrell Young would not tell the Chronicle Herald who he plans on taking.

“All I can say right now is we have three guys we’re focused on but we like one of them better than the other two,” Young said.

The draft takes place at 11am on Saturday in Sherbrooke.

THE PICKS
The Sea Dogs are expected to finalize some reported trades on Friday so where they pick at the draft could change. Here is where they are currently selecting:

First round, first overall
Second round, 22nd overall
Fourth round, 59th overall
Fourth round, 67th overall
Seventh round, 113th overall
Eighth round, 131st overall
Ninth round, 149th overall
11th round, 185th overall
12th round, 203rd overall
13th overall, 221st overall
14th overall, 239th overall

The full list can be found on the QMJHL website.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Luke Green Draft Profile


Mooseheads broadcaster John Moore uploaded this draft profile on Luke Green today. Green is one of the top ranked players for Saturday’s QMJHL Entry Draft and could very well be taken by Saint John first overall.

Green, an offensive defenseman, is ranked fifth by QMJHL Central Scouting and fourth by HockeyProspect.com. In 34 regular season games with Newbridge Academy this past season, the Bedford native recorded 17 goals and 20 assists. He added another seven goals and 11 assists in 16 playoff games.

Oil Kings Are Kings Of The CHL

The Edmonton Oil Kings are Memorial Cup champions.

The Oil Kings, who booked their ticket to the championship game with a triple-overtime victory in Friday’s semi-final, defeated the well-rested Guelph Storm 6-3 on Sunday to win the first Canadian Hockey League title in the franchise’s modern history.

Guelph opened the scoring and had a 2-1 lead after one but could not contain the determined Oil Kings. Edmonton scored three times in the second period, added another two in the third, and goaltender Tristan Jarry did a solid job at keeping the Western Hockey League champs in front.

Jarry made 32 saves in the win while Justin Nichols made 39 in the loss. Henrik Samuelsson was named the game’s first star with two goals and three assists.

The win was impressive on several fronts, most notably because of how little rest the Oil Kings had compared to the Storm. Guelph was also playing in a familiar building in front of plenty of their fans - but it was not meant to be this year for the OHL champs.

It’s the first Memorial Cup title for the WHL since the 2008 Spokane Chiefs, ending the drought/curse that started after the Chiefs dropped the trophy and broke it during on-ice celebrations.

Some other notes…

  • Val-d’Or goaltender Antoine Bibeau was named the tournament’s top goaltender. He was also the only QMJHL player on the tournament all-star team.
  • The Memorial Cup all-star team: Antoine Bibeau, Cody Corbett, Matt Finn, Edgars Kulda, Kerby Rychel, and Henrik Samuelsson.
  • The OHL has not won the Memorial Cup since the 2010 Windsor Spitfires. It’s been a rough few years for the league.
  • No “Shoot for a Million” contest this year. Worst Memorial Cup ever.
  • Not a lot of off-ice drama at this year’s Memorial Cup. That will surely return when the Quebec Remparts host next season.
  • And so ends the 2013-14 CHL season. It was okay. Here’s to a better 2014-15. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

One Week Until Draft Day

A week from today, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft will take place in Sherbrooke.

It’s going to be a busy day and weekend for the Saint John Sea Dogs. Along with finalizing a lot of rumoured trades, the Sea Dogs also have the first overall pick in the Entry Draft. Will they use it? Will they trade down? By this time next week we’ll have the answer.

It was reported this past week that the Sea Dogs are eyeing defenseman Luke Green with the first overall pick. The smooth skating Green is ranked fifth by QMJHL Central Scouting and fourth by HockeyProspect.com, so it is certainly possible the Dogs could trade down and still be able to snag him. 

“Every shift he is on the ice is a potential to make an amazing play with the puck,” writes HockeyProspect.com in their draft guide. “His offensive hockey IQ is perhaps the most developed out of this draft class, as he anticipates and reads the game at an elite level, creating opportunities where others do not see them.”

There is no consensus No. 1 pick this year and any of the top handful of ranked players could legitimately be taken first overall.

The first overall pick is the only first-round pick the Sea Dogs currently own. But, the reported deal that will see Oliver Cooper traded to Charlottetown has the Islanders sending the 15th overall selection to the Sea Dogs. Saint John will also be picking 22nd overall which is the second pick of the second-round. 

The full draft order can be found on the QMJHL website - but remember the Sea Dogs will be busy on the trade front this year so this list will likely change.

There will be TV coverage of the draft that will be streamed online once again this year. We’ll also be tweeting and posting stuff all day. Should be a good one. 

Photo: QMJHL

Oil Kings Eliminate Foreurs

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s reign as Memorial Cup champions has come to an end.

Curtis Lazar ended the longest Memorial Cup game in history with a goal at 2:42 of triple overtime last night, giving the Edmonton Oil Kings a 4-3 victory over the Val-d’Or Foreurs in the national semi-final. The win advances the Western Hockey League champs to Sunday’s final where they will face the Guelph Storm.

The fact that the Foreurs got this game into overtime was impressive. The Oil Kings were up 3-1 in the second but a late Randy Gazzola goal made it 3-2 heading into the third. With 36 seconds left in regulation time, a Guillaume Gelinas shot from the point got through all kinds in traffic and Tristan Jarry in the Edmonton net to tie things at 3-3.

Both teams had their chances in overtime. In the second overtime frame, Val-d’Or had a power play but could not capitalize.

Antoine Bibeau made 50 saves in the loss while Jarry made 46 in the win.

It was a good run for the Foreurs who upset the Halifax Mooseheads in the QMJHL semi-finals and then the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in the final. The fact that they were a goal away from reaching Sunday’s championship game has be hard to swallow.

It was also a good run for the QMJHL who, for the first time since 2010, will not be the home of the national champions. Saint John won in 2011, Shawinigan in 2012, and Halifax in 2013.

The Storm will be looking to become the first Memorial Cup champions from Ontario since the 2010 Windsor Spitfires. The Oil Kings will be looking to bring the trophy back to the WHL for the first time since the 2008 Spokane Chiefs.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Canada Done; Foreurs In Semis

Canada’s quest for Gold at the IIHF World Championships came to an end yesterday.

Canada lost 3-2 to Finland in yesterday’s quarter-final, eliminating them from the tournament. The red and white had a 2-1 lead heading into the third but could not hang on.

Jonathan Huberdeau didn’t record a shot in 10:09 of ice time in the loss. He played 5:51 in the third period alone. Huberdeau finished his first World Championship with one goal and four assists in eight games.

Finland will play the Czech Republic in one semi-final while Russia will face Sweden in the other.

In other news…

  • Felix Schutz ended the World Championships with one assist in five games with Team Germany. The Germans had a 2-5 record at the tournament.
  • The Val-d’Or Foreurs take on the Edmonton Oil Kings in the Memorial Cup semi-final tonight at 8pm on Sportsnet. The winner of this game will go on to play the Guelph Storm in Sunday’s championship game. The Foreurs defeated the Oil Kings 4-3 in double-overtime on Tuesday.
  • The 2014 London Knights could not replicate what the 2012 Shawinigan Cataractes did a couple years ago – win the Memorial Cup on home ice after a second-round playoff elimination. The Knights’ tournament came to an end on Wednesday with a 7-2 loss to Guelph. They finished with an 0-3 record at this year’s event.
  • Nathan Beaulieu had 8:53 of ice time - including 1:11 on the power play - in Montreal's 3-2 overtime win in New York last night
  • Simon Despres and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are off to Newfoundland today. They begin their Calder Cup semi-final series against the St. John’s IceCaps on Saturday at Mile One. The Penguins reached the semis after eliminating the Providence Bruins in seven games.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sea Dogs Eyeing Luke Green

The Chronicle Herald's Willy Palov brings us the following tweet:
Green, a 16-year old defenseman from Bedford, recorded 17 goals and 20 assists in 34 Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League games with the Newbridge Academy Gladiators. He added another seven goals and 18 points in 16 playoff matches.

Green also finished in a tie for first in scoring at the Gatorade Excellence Challange, recording three goals and eight assists in five games with Team Nova Scotia.

QMJHL Central Scouting ranks Green fifth overall.

Saint John has the first overall selection in the QMJHL Entry Draft which takes place on May 31 in Sherbrooke. The Sea Dogs have had the first overall pick three previous times in their history and picked a defenseman with each.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Huberdeau Named Player Of The Game

Jonathan Huberdeau was named Team Canada’s player of the game in a comeback win over Sweden yesterday.

Canada came back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Sweden 3-2 in overtime at the IIHF World Championships. Huberdeau had an assist and two shots in 13:02 of ice time. He also had a penalty shot in the first period and nearly scored a beauty (pictured above).

Huberdeau has a goal and three assists in six games at the tournament.

Canada, 5-0-1, plays their final preliminary game tomorrow against Norway.

In other news…
  • Former Sea Dogs forward Felix Schutz is also taking part in this year’s tournament. He has an assist in five games with Germany. The IIHF website has an article on him.
  • Tomas Jurco’s season came to an end last night as the Grand Rapids Griffins lost 7-1 to the Texas Stars, dropping the series 4-2. Jurco had four shots in the game and ends the playoffs with five goals and two assists in eight games.
  • On Saturday, Simon Despres and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins defeated the Providence Bruins 3-2. Despres had two shots in the game. The Pens lead the series 3-2 heading into Game 6 tonight in WB/S.
  • At the Memorial Cup, the Val-d’Or Foreurs are back in action tonight at 8pm on Sportsnet when they take on the Guelph Storm. The Storm beat Edmonton 5-2 on Saturday and then the Oil Kings defeated London 5-2 last night.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

QMJHL Draft Guide Now Available

The best QMJHL Draft guide available can now be purchased.

HockeyProspect.com released their annual draft guide this past week. This year's edition includes rankings, scouting reports on 150 prospects, game reports, and player interviews. It's good stuff.

The draft guide can be purchased here in PDF form for $19.99.

In the guide, HockeyProspect.com once again ranks American Chad Krys as the best player available. It’s highly unlikely he goes first overall, but it would be great drama if he did. Ranked second is defenseman Samuel Girard.

Shawinigan journalist Jonathan Roberge tweeted the other day that Pascal Laberge, the top forward ranked by HockeyProspect.com, would prefer to play in the province of Quebec. Girard and Pierre-Luc Dubois, according to Roberge, have no problem with playing in the Maritimes.

The QMJHL Entry Draft is on May 31 in Sherbrooke. Saint John currently holds the first overall selection.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Foreurs Win Memorial Cup Opener


In the opening game of the 2014 Memorial Cup, Antoine Bibeau showed everyone why he was named the QMJHL’s playoff MVP.

The Val-d’Or Foreurs netminder made 51 saves in a 1-0 shutout victory over the host London Knights. It was a great start to the tournament for the Foreurs who were the last team to book their ticket to the CHL’s championship tournament.

Not surprisingly, Anthony Mantha scored Val-d’Or’s only goal and it proved to be enough for the win. Mantha’s goal came at 16:20 of the first after be beat the Knights defense and cut through the top of the crease.

London, who hadn’t played in 34 games, had a 27-save performance from Antony Stolarz in the loss.

Tomorrow, the Edmonton Oil Kings take on the Guelph Storm. Val-d’Or returns to action on Monday against the Storm.

In other Friday night action…

  • The Providence Bruins evened their AHL playoff series at 2-2 with a 3-2 overtime win over Simon Despres and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins tonight. Despres had three shots in the loss.
  • The St. John’s IceCaps eliminated Kevin Gagne and the Norfolk Admirals with a 5-2 victory in Game 6 tonight at Mile One. Gagne was a -1 in the loss. He finishes his first full pro season with 22 points in 71 regular season games and an assist in eight playoff games.
  • The Texas Stars took a 3-2 series lead over Tomas Jurco and the Grand Rapids Griffins with a 3-2 overtime victory. Jurco had an assist and three shots in the loss. "This series isn't over yet...we just gotta go there and win the next two," Jurco told the Red Wings Twitter after the game.

Notebook: Memorial Cup Begins Tonight

The 2014 MasterCard Memorial Cup begins tonight with the host London Knights taking on the Val-d’Or Foreurs, the champions on the QMJHL.

London has not played in 34 days. Val-d’Or clinched the President’s Cup on Tuesday night in Baie-Comeau. It’s going to a battle between the rested and the fresh.

Tonight’s game starts at 8pm and can be seen on Sportsnet.

Over at Yahoo Sports, former Sea Dogs forward and Memorial Cup veteran Stephen MacAulay offered his advice for those playing in this year’s tournament.

LEBLANC
Sea Dogs defenseman Olivier LeBlanc was among the players invited to the annual NHL Draft Combine.

According to NHL.com, “Dan Marr, the director of NHL Central Scouting, is anticipating the attendance of 119 players, including 101 North Americans, at the Combine from May 26-31.”

LeBlanc had seven goals and 26 assists in 56 games this past season. Saint John has not had a player selected in the NHL Draft since five were picked in 2011.

THE HABS
Nathan Beaulieu, Gerard Gallant, and the Montreal Canadiens are off to the Eastern Conference Final after eliminating the Boston Bruins in Game 7 on Wednesday night. The Habs will face the New York Rangers in the third-round.

Beaulieu registered his second assist of the playoffs in Game 7, helping setup Daniel Briere’s goal late in the third period to secure the win. As you’d expect, Beaulieu didn’t play a whole lot in the game, seeing just 7:57 of ice time. Milan Lucic did not appear to threaten his life in the hand shake line, which is great.

Premier David Alward watched at Rocky’s Sports Bar and was sporting a Beaulieu jersey.
The Conference Final begins tomorrow.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Three Years Ago...

Three years ago tonight, Alexandre Beauregard scored in double-overtime to give the Saint John Sea Dogs their first President’s Cup title.

Beauregard scored at 15:45 of the second overtime frame to give the Dogs a 3-2 victory in Game 6 over the Gatineau Olympiques. The goal ended an incredible game and an incredible series between the two.

"It happened so quick that all I wanted to do was get a shot on goal," said Beauregard to the Canadian Press after the game. "When I saw it go in it was an incredible feeling. This is amazing."

“I just shot the puck at the net,” he added to the Ottawa Citizen. “The ice wasn’t very good, it was the second overtime and I was tired.

“It’s an incredible feeling.”

A couple often forgotten notes from this game: Zack Phillips and Steven Anthony were both hurt and did not play. Also, the Olympiques were 23 seconds away from forcing a Game 7 but Jonathan Huberdeau tied it. Unreal game.

Some video of the celebration can be found here.

Of course, the Sea Dogs would go on to win the Memorial Cup in Mississauga. 

Pass/Fail: The Titan's New Look

The Acadie-Bathurst Titan will have a new look for the 2014-15 season.

At a press conference this morning, the Titan unveiled a new logo along with newly designed jerseys (click picture to enlarge). The team will also have a new mascot, Legion (EDIT: there will apparently be a naming contest for the mascot).

It’ll certainly be different seeing the Titan with a new look. The team has had basically the same logo since the early 90s, before the Titan even moved to Bathurst.

Here’s a promotional video for the new look:


So what do you think?

Richard Traded To Gatineau

Another day means another trade for the Saint John Sea Dogs.

The Sea Dogs have traded forward Joey Richard to the Gatineau Olympiques. The Olympiques’ website doesn’t say what the Dogs will be getting in return, but Jean-Francois Plante of Le Droit tweets Saint John will be getting a 2016 fourth-round pick.

Richard was a third-round selection of the Sea Dogs in the 2013 QMJHL Entry Draft. The Dieppe native recorded three goals and two assists in 25 games. He hasn’t played since January 4 due to a dislocated shoulder that caused him to miss the remainder of the 2013-14 season.

The 17-year old tore up the NB/PEI Major Midget AAA Hockey League before coming to Saint John. In 2012-13 with the Moncton Flyers, the right winger registered 55 points in 35 regular season games and added another 30 points in just nine post-season matches.

Looking at next year’s roster, there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of room for Richard. But at the same time, this deal is a bit surprising given that Richard hasn’t had much time yet to adjust to the Q and show what he can do at this level. Hopefully this deal doesn’t backfire.

The QMJHL’s trading period opens on May 30. The Q site will be probably crash when inputting all of Saint John’s deals.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Report: Landry Heading To Bathurst

Yet another trade rumour has surfaced involving a Saint John Sea Dog.


According to an interview done on local French radio station CKLE-FM in Bathurst, Acadie-Bathurst Titan GM Sylvain Couturier revealed that the Titan are set to acquire Saint John Sea Dogs goaltender Antoine Landry at the draft in exchange for a sixth round draft pick in 2016.


Landry, a Caraquet native, was a ninth-round pick of the Sea Dogs in the 2013 QMJHL Entry Draft and made the team after a solid training camp last fall. In 15 games, Landry went 3-10 with a 4.81 goals against average and a .867 save percentage.

This deal adds even more intrigue about Saint John’s goaltending situation heading into next season. Will Sebastien Auger be traded and for what? Will the Dogs actually be able to swing a deal for Callum Booth. What will happen with prospect Christopher Smith?


The QMJHL’s trading period begins on May 30 and many of the rumoured deals will become official then.

Notebook: New Auger Rumour Surfaces

The latest Sebastien Auger trade rumour comes from Steve Carr, a Mooseheads colour analyst for News 95.7.
This seems like a weird deal from a Cape Breton perspective given that Auger will only be around for this season. From a Saint John standpoint, this would be a terrific return for a 20-year old goaltender.

The Chronicle Herald’s Willy Palov also tweets that Remparts goaltender Callum “Booth is Saint John's No. 1 target but Quebec is reluctant. First-round picks are plan B for Sea Dogs.”

“Auger is available but he hasn't been dealt yet,” Palov added. “Just passing on the prices”

COYLE
Charlie Coyle’s season came to an end last night as the Chicago Blackhawks eliminated the Minnesota Wild from the playoffs. Patrick Kane scored in overtime to give the ‘Hawks a 2-1 win in Game 6.

Last night, Coyle had three shots in 21:29 of ice time. In 13 post-season games this year, he recorded three goals and four assists.

BEAULIEU
Nathan Beaulieu had a good night on Monday. Playing in his first Stanley Cup Playoff game, the defenseman setup a key goal in the Montreal Canadiens’ 4-0 victory over the Boston Bruins.

Beaulieu’s long feed up ice found Max Pacioretty at 15:24 of the second period to give the Habs a 2-0 lead at the time.


The former Sea Dogs defenseman also had one shot and was a +2 in 9:36 of ice time.
Game 7 is tonight in Boston.