Sea Dogs select 18 players at the 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft


Yesterday the 2015 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft took place at the Palais des Sports Leopold-Drolet in Sherbrooke, Que. The Saint John Sea Dogs added 18 new prospects to their organization including the first player ever to be granted exceptional status in the QMJHL, Joseph Veleno.

Veleno, 15, played last season with the Lac St-Louis Lions in the LHMAAAQ where he finished 12th in league scoring with 16 goals, 36 assists for 52 points in 41 games.

  The Sea Dogs also held the ninth and 10th overall selections in this year’s draft. Goaltender Alex D’Orio of the Cantonniers de Magog was the ninth overall pick and was the second goalie selected in the 2015 draft. In 23 games this season, D’Orio posted a 2.30 goals against average and a 0.916 save percentage. The Sherbrooke, Que. native also played three games with Team Québec at the 2015 Canada Winter Games and had a 0.861 save percentage with a goals against average of 3.69.

Saint John went off the board with their 10th overall selection taking forward Cedric Pare from the Commandeurs de Levis. Pare was ranked in the second round, 27th overall by QMJHL Central Scouting.

Listed at six-foot-one, 190 pounds, Pare registered 13 points, 14 penalty minutes and was a plus nine in 41 LHMAAAQ games this year.

The Sea Dogs did not hold a second round pick, which meant there next selection would come in the third round – 51st overall. With the pick they selected defenceman Vincent Martineau, who was “one of the best right-handed defenseman in this draft class” according to

Martineau played 42 games with the College Esther-Blondin Phenix this season and finished with 15 points.

In the fourth round, Saint John made Morgan Barron, a forward from the Newbridge Academy Gladiators, the 57th pick overall. The 16-year-old had a strong year in the Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League scoring 17 goals and adding 25 assists for 42 points in 34 games.

Saint John did not have a pick in the fifth round but held two in round six. The first of which was 100th overall where they selected Pierre-Luc Lurette of the Campbellton Tigers in the MHL. The six-foot-two, 183 pound defenseman appeared in 43 games with the Tigers this season and registered 13 points.

They used the 107th overall pick to take Mark McLaughlin, who was the top-ranked American forward in this year’s draft according to

Listed at six feet tall, 181 pounds the native of North Billerica, ME played for Cushing Academy this season.

In the seventh round the Sea Dogs made Saint John native Ben Reid the 119th overall selection. The hometown kid played for the Saint John Vito’s in the NB/PEI Major Midget Hockey League. The 16-year-old registered 13 goals and 29 points in 35 games this season.

Next up was the 143rd pick overall, in the eighth round which Saint John used to select Charlottetown Midget AAA Islanders winger Kallum Muirhead. He’s a big guy listed at six-foot-three, 188 pounds.

Moving to the ninth round where Saint John held two more draft picks. The first was 154th overall where they took American Ben Mirageas of Avon Old Farms. The defenseman had seven points in 24 games this season.

Five picks later, the Sea Dogs selected defenseman Ian Smallwood 159th overall. The St. John’s, N.L. native played last season with the Notre Dame Hounds Midget AAA and recorded 15 points in 34 games along with 50 penalty minutes.

There lone pick in round 10 was left-winger Thomas Morin of the Elites de Beauce-Appalaches, whom they selected 172nd overall.

In the 11th round Saint John took defenseman Jonathan Mason and forward Alexandre Lafreniere three picks apart at 187th and 190th overall respectively. Mason, 16, is a Dartmouth, N.S. native and played for the Newbridge Academy Gladiators last season. Lafreniere is from Gatineau, Que. and played with L’Intrepide de L’Outaouais for the 2014-15 season.

Saint John also had a pair of picks in the 12th round, 208th and 212th overall. St. John’s Privateers defenseman Matthew O’Leary was the 208th selection, while the 212th overall pick was goaltender William Hardy-Murray from the Quebec Cyclones.

The teams second last pick of the draft was Samuel Leblanc, a forward from Rothesay Netherwood School. A native of Dieppe, N.B., Leblanc is the smallest player drafted by Saint John this year at five-foot-seven, 136 pounds.

With their final selection of the 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft, the Sea Dogs drafted William Aubry of Charles-Lemoyne from the Espoirs league. The Saint-Constant, Que. native is listed at five-foot-nine, 147 pounds.

Saint John made a few trades over the weekend. The first came on Friday when they acquire overage goaltender Marc-Antoine Turcotte and the 57th pick in the draft from the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in exchange for the 46th overall selection in the third round of this year’s draft.

On draft day, General Manager Darrell Young completed two trades and they were also with the Armada. The first one saw the Sea Dogs acquire the 107th and 119th overall selections for a 2016 fourth round pick originally owned by the Gatineau Olympiques.

Later in the draft they sent a 2016 sixth round pick to the Armada for a fourth round pick, 57th overall, in this year’s draft.


Photo: Vincent Either/QMJHL Media