Saturday, June 9, 2012

Big Changes for the Champs

Just a couple of weeks after winning the Memorial Cup, the Shawinigan Cataractes have blown up the roster having dealt 5 players including overtime hero Anton Zlobin.

Three separate deals on QMJHL draft day saw Shawinigan move Zlobin, goalie Alex Dubeau, defencemen Justin Haché and Jonathan Racine plus forward Yannick Veilleux


Zlobin made a name for himself when he scored the winning goal at the 2012 Memorial Cup last month in Shawinigan. The Russian import went undrafted in 2011 but stands an excellent chance of being selected in Pittsburgh when the 2012 draft unfolds in a couple of weeks. 

Alex Dubeau and Justin Haché are also on the draft radar. 

The Catarctes received mostly picks for the five players listed above but also gained 6'2 blueliner Yan Dumontier from Val d'Or and a couple of other players from a completely unrelated trade with Sherbrooke. 

Consider the ineligibility of '91-born goalie Gabriel Girard, defender Marc-Antoine Goyette and forward Pierre-Olivier Morin plus the likely pro graduations of Michael Chaput, Brandon Gormley, Morgan Ellis, Michael Bournival, Kirill Kabanov.

Then factor in that many still expect head coach Eric Veilleux to eventually join Bob Hartley in the NHL with the Calgary Flames.

That's a LOT of turnover for Shawinigan. 

QMJHL Draft Notes

Photo: Winslow Townsend
The QMJHL draft was interesting from an American perspective. Now that Q teams must select two American players, some names popped up that I'm not sure would have if not for the new legislation. Also interesting because they were recently selected by USHL teams in that league's draft too.

For example:
  • Adam Gilmour, a 6'2 winger from Massachusetts, was the 2nd overall pick by the Muskegon Lumberjacks. In the QMJHL he went in the 11th round to Val d'Or.
  • Chris Calnan went 9th overall to the Waterloo Blackhawks but the B.B. Armada drafted him in the 10th round, 179th overall. 
  • Sam Kurker went one pick later to the Quebec Remparts. He was a 9th round pick by the Indiana Ice. The winger is considered the 36th best North American skater available for the NHL draft according to Central Scouting. (pictured)

I wonder how many of those guys would have been selected by QMJHL teams if not for the new rule? I think it will be interesting to see if the American content of the Q rises much over the next few years to see what effect the change has, if any. 


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