Veleno goes first overall to Sea Dogs

veleno-640x427KathyKocur

The Saint John Sea Dogs did what most people expected, selecting Joseph Veleno with first overall at the 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft in Sherbrooke, Que., today.

Veleno is a 15-year-old forward who was granted Exceptional Status by Hockey Canada on Thursday of this week. In 41 games with the LHMAAAQ’s Lac St-Louis Lions the Kirkland, Que., native registered 16 goals and 36 assists for 52 points. That was good enough for 12th in league scoring.

At the 2015 Canada Games, Veleno competed for Team Quebec picking up 10 points in six games. He also played for Team Quebec Blue at the QMJHL Gatorade Excellence Challenge notching five points in five games.

Veleno was originally denied exceptional status because his application was made past the Feb. 15 deadline. With Sea Dogs General Manager Darrell Young heavily involved pointing out that Hockey Canada didn’t know all the facts and that there was a reason why Veleno missed the deadline, they decided to reconsider.

Up until two days ago, it was expected that Veleno would not be granted exceptional status and Saint John would end up taking Shane Bowers of the Halifax McDonald’s. As soon as word came out from Hockey Canada, it was all but official.

Photo: Kathy Kocur – HockeyProspect.com

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