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Around the QMJHL this week

Quebec Remparts

 

News flowing out of the teams around the QMJHL has been steady lately with training camps and the pre-season well underway. Many clubs have announced their opening day rosters as your Mooseheads did on Thursday. Here’s a good way to bone up on what’s going on heading into the Labour Day long weekend.

First and foremost everyone from the Mooseheads franchise is sending their love and prayers to Saint John Equipment Manager extraordinaire David “DK” Kelly who is facing another fight in his battle with cancer. You’ve got this DK.

Sticking with the Saint John Sea Dogs, the reigning President Cup Champions picked up Saint John native Marcus Tesink who is the younger brother of former Sea Dogs forward Ryan Tesink. The Mooseheads open the season on the road against the Dogs in the only game on the league schedule Thursday, September 21st at 7:00pm. The President Cup banner will be raised to the Harbour Station rafters in a pregame ceremony.

The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles have made their final decisions for this year’s roster. Three 16-year-old draft picks made the final cuts including Halifax defenceman Noah Laaouan and Beaver Bank forward Ryan Francis. Laaouan was taken by the Eagles with their first pick in the draft, 14th overall while Francis was nabbed early in the second round with the 21st overall selection.

The final roster is in from the Acadie-Bathurst Titan who are expected to challenge for the Maritimes Division title this season. Forward Jeffrey Viel could be one of the top overage players in the QMJHL and is coming off his second straight 30+ goal season. Defenceman Noah Dobson will have the eyes of NHL scouts on him throughout the year and is expected to be taken fairly high in next June’s NHL Entry Draft.

While the Charlottetown Islanders have yet to announce their final roster, they did make a trade earlier this week for a name familiar in these parts by grabbing Dartmouth’s Brock McLeod from Sherbrooke.

No matter what stage the Quebec Remparts are in as far as “rebuilding” goes they are a team that always seems to be competitive in the standings. On paper maybe they aren’t extremely impressive this season but Philippe Boucher definitely gets the most out of his troops. Switzerland’s Philipp Kurashev will be a player to watch in his NHL draft year. He had 21 goals and 33 assists as a rookie.

The Shawinigan Cataractes will be taking a step back in the standings this season and didn’t have any 16-year-olds make the final roster. Lower Sackville’s Lucas Fitzpatrick will share goaltending duties with veteran Mikhail Denisov.

The Victoriaville Tigres are going to be a fun team to watch this season. Circle Wednesday, February 28th on your calendar because that’s when the high powered team will make their lone visit to Halifax in the regular season. If healthy, players like Pascal Laberge (Flyers 2nd round pick ’16) and Maxime Comtois (Ducks 2nd round pick ’17) will be among the biggest stars in the QMJHL. Russian Ivan Kosorenkov scored 34 goals as a rookie last season and will be a major factor on this veteran laden squad.

The Baie-Comeau Drakkar once again are on the same path as your Mooseheads in terms of climbing the ladder to contender status. It won’t be shocking to see these two franchises clash again down the road in the playoffs. The Drakkar have a terrific young core featuring Gabriel Fortier who scored 11 times in 25 games after recovering from a major injury. The younger brother of Max Fortier had a very strong Ivan Hlinka tournament while playing on Team Canada with Jared McIsaac, Benoit-Olivier Groulx and Alex Gravel. Russian Ivan Chekhovich, a San Jose draft pick, will provide plenty of offense while the defense features players like Xavier Bouchard and rookie Christopher Merisier-Ortiz.

The Val d’Or Foreurs named their roster this week. They will depend on the goaltending of one of the league’s best night in and night out with Etienne Montpetit between the pipes for his 20-year-old season. The goalie could be a very hot commodity at the trade deadline depending on where Val d’Or sits in the standings at Christmas.

The Sherbrooke Phoenix have finalized their “post-Anderson MacDonald” roster. Rookie Samuel Poulin is poised to be a power forward in the league for a long time. Fans in our area will be waiting to see young Bailey Peach face the Mooseheads when Sherbrooke comes to town on Remembrance Day. The former Cole Harbour forward was taken 11th overall by the Phoenix in June’s draft.

Your Mooseheads will be back on the ice for practice on Tuesday morning at 10:00am where CHL Import pick Filip Zadina will join the team for the first time. He will arrive in Halifax over the weekend. The Mooseheads will host the Moncton Wildcats in pre-season action next Friday night at 7:00pm at the Halifax Forum. General Admission tickets are on sale now at the Ticket Atlantic Box Office, select Superstore outlets and at the Official Mooseheads Shop in Scotia Square Mall.

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