UNB adds duo of QMJHL captains
On Tuesday July 4, 2017, the UNB Varsity Reds officially announced the acquisitions of Victoriaville Tigres captain Tristan Pomerleau, and Cape Breton Screaming Eagles captain, Olivier LeBlanc for 2017-18.
Pomerleau joins the Varsity Reds after spending three consecutive seasons serving as captain for the Tigres, and played all 249 career QMJHL games with Victoriaville. Pomerleau was drafted in 2012, in the fourth round by Victoriaville, and quickly made the roster the following season in 2012-13. Pomerleau would represent Canada Québec at the under-17 level, and gain a reputation for his steady defence and leadership, however injuries limited Pomerleau to just one full season in the QMJHL.
LeBlanc comes to UNB with a very impressive hockey resume, dating back to 2012, when he was drafted 11th overall by the Saint John Sea Dogs. LeBlanc would crack the Sea Dogs roster in 2012-13, and played alongside Pomerleau at the WHC under-17 that season with Canada Québec. LeBlanc followed up his rookie season with a solid draft year, and was selected 197th overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the seventh round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. The following season, LeBlanc was named captain of the Saint John Sea Dogs, but was dealt at the trade deadline to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. After posting a career-high 36 points in 2015-16, LeBlanc earned the captaincy for Cape Breton in 2016-17, and tallied 43 points for the Screaming Eagles. LeBlanc’s QMJHL career spanned 291 games over five seasons, including two appearances representing the QMJHL at the Subway Series against Russia.
The UNB Varsity Reds bring in two proven QMJHL defenders with track records of leadership. They join a defensive core with five other players, including former QMJHLers Randy Gazzola (Halifax, Val-D’Or), Matt Murphy (Val-D’Or, Halifax, Quebec, Saint John) and Trey Lewis (Halifax). Pomerleau will carry primarily defensive responsibilities to start, while LeBlanc offers more of a complete game for UNB.
Now carrying seven defenceman total, the Varsity Reds have enough for next season, but could still be in the market for an eighth. QMJHL defenders T.J. Melancon and Zach Malatesta have both been in talks with the Varsity Reds.