The push is on this year as Major Junior is trying to outplay the NCAA, wanting to get the top defensemen signed before the colleges recognize who are the best at this position. We all know NCAA schools go after the offensively gifted forwards first or the very few phenom defensemen, yet Hockey East shockingly only has a few d-men committed entering college 2016 or later. Yes it takes longer to develop defensemen but our QMJHL sources tell us they spent a lot of time looking for those projecting the greatest potential and wants them at their training camp.
The Halifax Mooseheads will begin 2014 Training Camp on Tuesday, August 12th at Cole Harbour Place starting with registration day. The players will suit up for their first practices and intrasquad game the following day.
John Marino, ’97 SS Kings, drafted in third round #56 by Halifax. General Manager Cam Russell said Marino has a commitment to Yale University and scouts say he is a skilled offensive defenceman with great instincts.
Players (Including Zach Malatesta ) will arrive in Moncton for Wildcats training camp registration next Monday. The Wildcats will have four teams in an intrasquad tournament that begins next Tuesday at the Red Ball Internet Centre with games at 9 a.m., 10:20 a.m., 5 p.m. and 6:20 p.m.
Luke McGinnis, ’98, Dexter, BC commit, who had a good performance at the recent USA Hockey Select 16 Festival is coveted by Moncton.
Moncton also has their eyes on Jamie Dorsey ’96,NMH, selected in 2013 QMJHL draft. According to Roger Shannon, “He’s a two-way defenceman that skates well and shoots the puck well. He’s a big, strong kid who can play the power play and penalty kill.”
The Charlottetown Islanders week one of their 2014 training camp will open on Monday, August 11th at the Pownal Sports Centre. Week one will feature daily practices, three intersquad games and two exhibition games, hosting the Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Saturday, August 16 and visiting the Moncton Wildcats on the 15th. All practices will be open to the general public.
The Islanders traded a second-round pick to Shawinigan for a fifth-round pick and Gianni Paolo,’96, SS Kings, selected in 2013 QMJHL draft. A costly trade unless the team has inside information that the chances of signing are pretty good.
Although according to Mark Divver of The Providence Journal Paolo will not be reporting to the Charlottetown Islanders this season, the 18-year-old plans on staying with the South Shore Kings of the USPHL Premier. According to our source and GM Sonier, he will be in camp.
Frank Sullivan, ’96, Westminster, is a smooth skating, puck-moving defenceman. “We have to convince him to come here now because he’s got NCAA schools coming after him” says Charlottetown General Manager Grant Sonier.
Other D-men drafted this year recognized by the Q as top of their class in New England some attending camp:
Moncton-Chad Krys, Gatineau-Matt Dillon, Sherbrooke-Casey Fitzgerald, Val-d’Or J.J Layton, Moncton-Robbie Roche, Val-d’Or-Matthew Cousino, Chicoutimi-Wil Brophy, Victoriaville-Peter Christie, Cape Breton-Billy Sweezey, Baie-Comeau Harrison Markell, Chicoutimi-Pat O’Leary, Rouyn-Noranda-Ben Finkelstein, Cape Breton-Mike Lee, Québec-Spencer Young.
The reward will have to be compelling, let’s see where they end up…