First round mock QMJHL draft
Now that the QMJHL draft lottery has taken place and the selection order is determined, I thought it good to write up a little mock draft, predicting who may have a chance to be selected in the first round.
For this mock draft, I made my predictions either according to who I felt was the best player available, or who I thought would be the best fit with the team selecting.
Without further ado, here are my choices for the first round of the 2017 QMJHL Entry Draft, set for June 3 in Saint John, N.B.
1. Rimouski Océanic: Alexis Lafrenière, F, St-Eustache Vikings.
An absolute no-brainer, Rimouski goes with the best player available. As a 15-year old rookie playing in the QMAAAHL, he led the league in goals (33), assists (50) and points (83), therefore demonstrating his undeniable talent. Possessing excellent size as well, he’s a player that comes with a full package, making him the obvious choice for the first overall pick.
2. Sherbrooke Phoenix: Samuel Poulin, F, Collège Esther-Blondin Phénix.
A good combination of size and skill, Poulin is the epitome of a power forward. Plays a physical game and likes to throw the body. He will join his older brother Nicolas in Sherbrooke, as well as promising young forwards Anderson MacDonald, Yaroslav Alexeev, and Evan MacKinnon, giving the Phoenix a good young core for the next few years.
3. Moncton Wildcats: Jakob Pelletier, F, Séminaire Saint-François Blizzard.
Moncton uses their pick to select a diminutive forward who plays big when it counts. After an excellent regular season with a powerful Blizzard team, Pelletier thrived during the playoffs, finishing as the overall leading scorer. He notably scored what would be the championship clinching goal in Game 4 of the final, where he was named playoff MVP.
4. Halifax Mooseheads: Alex Newhook, F, York Simcoe Express.
Already commited to Boston College, Newhook is too good for the Mooseheads to pass on. They likely will take a chance on the Newfoundland native with hopes of convincing him to join the team, which they could be able to pull off. Should they succeed, they add a very interesting piece to a team expected to contend in a year or so.
5. Val-d’Or Foreurs: Xavier Parent, F, Collège Esther-Blondin Phénix.
Looking to add some firepower up front, Val-d’Or takes the best player available in Parent. Considered Top 3 talent at the start of the season, Parent drops due to other players’ ascensions in the rankings, but that doesn’t take away any of his talent. The Foreurs will definitely be more than glad to take him at this spot.
6. Baie-Comeau Drakkar: Xavier Simoneau, F, Gatineau Intrepide
Considered by some to be the most promising team in terms of young talent, Baie-Comeau adds an excellent playmaker to their already impressive forward group. Tremendously skilled and gifted with great speed, his injury history may be alarming for some. Nonetheless, that doesn’t stop the Drakkar from selecting a player that should be a spectacular attraction within the league.
7. Drummondville Voltigeurs: Jaxon Bellamy, D, Saint John Vitos.
The Voltigeurs continue to add to their blueline by selecting Bellamy, probably the best defenseman available in a forward-heavy draft. Could form a formidable pairing with 2016 first round draft pick Xavier Bernard. Possesses very good size for his age (6’3”, 174 lbs), he should become a steady stay-at-home defenseman in the Q.
8. Drummondville Voltigeurs: Jérémy Michel, F, Lévis Commandeurs.
After taking a defenseman with their previous pick, Drummondville now adds a young forward to their roster, and Michel proves to be a fine addition. After stepping up offensively in the second half of the season, he continued to play just as well in the playoffs, notching a point per game before his team bowed out in the semifinals.
9. Baie-Comeau Drakkar: Christopher Merisier-Ortiz, D, St-Eustache Vikings.
Baie-Comeau uses their second pick of the draft to add a bona fide power play quarterback, probably their biggest need. A highly mobile defenseman who can carry the puck pretty fluidly, he should provide an excellent one-two punch on defense with Xavier Bouchard.
10. Rimouski Océanic: Thomas Pelletier, D, Séminaire Saint-François Blizzard.
Rimouski drafts Pelletier, a product of their GM Serge Beausoleil’s alma mater, while also adding to their defense corps. Earning a good amount of ice time with the SSF, Pelletier was able to contribute to his team’s excellent season. He also has a good frame, which Rimouski should find pretty appealing.
11. Sherbrooke Phoenix: Jérémy Jacques, D, Magog Cantonniers.
With their offence slowly coming into shape, Sherbrooke now wants to add a young prospect for their blueline. They do so by taking Jacques, a two-way defenceman with a decent shape who likes to play a steady well-rounded style of play. Is good both offensively and defensively.
12. Rimouski Océanic: Félix Lafrance, F, St-Eustache Vikings.
The Océanic now look to provide an offensive partner for Lafrenière, and who better than one of his teammates from the minors. Although he lacks size, Lafrance should definitely put up his share of points in the league, due to him constantly being able to find his teammates on the ice.
13. Acadie-Bathurst Titan: Justin Barron, D, Halifax McDonalds.
Looking to contend next season, the Titan will want to improve their defensive brigade. An interesting choice would be Nova Scotia native Barron, a defender capable of easily passing the puck. Should be a great compliment to the talented forwards already on the roster.
14. Cape-Breton Screaming Eagles: Alex Beaucage, F, Trois-Rivières Estacades.
After an okay season, Beaucage stepped up when it counted. Contributed to his team’s win at the CCM Challenge in Gatineau earlier this year, and was a point-per game player during the playoffs, where the Estacades were ultimately defeated in the final.
15. Cape-Breton Screaming Eagles: Nathan Légaré, F, St-Eustache Vikings.
Another member of the formidable St-Eustache squad, Légaré plays more of a physical game than his counterparts. Is able to produce points and uses his body to get the job done. has a defensive edge as well, making him a nearly complete player able to play in various situations.
16. Moncton Wildcats: Bailey Peach, F, Cole Harbour Wolfpack.
Moncton continues their rebuild up front by adding an highly talented forward in Peach. An offensive catalyst for his team this season, he should be just as good for a team desperately seeking offense after a poor season.
17. Val-d’Or Foreurs: Tommy Da Silva, G, Collège Charles-Lemoyne Riverains.
With Étienne Montpetit’s QMJHL career almost at an end, Val-d’Or looks to find his replacement between the pipes. Look no further than Da Silva, the best draft eligible goaltender in the draft. Has great size, and uses his frame to his advantage, and also has great reflexes, which he displays very well.
18. Québec Remparts: Maxence Guenette, D, Lévis Commandeurs.
A local product with a nice offensive capability, Québec adds a defenceman to compliment their up-and-coming forward core. Guenette can also provide a physical presence when on the ice, an element that should earn him a first round selection.
19. Blainville-Boisbriand Armada: Sean Larochelle, D, Collège Antoine-Girouard Gaulois.
After going all-in this season, the Armada now looks towards a rebuild. The main area they need to attend to will be their defence, and they start with Larochelle, a right-handed shot who has the ability of taking part in his team’s offensive