Around the QMJHL: March 6th to 10th

Get caught up on the latest news around the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and a glimpse on what’s coming this weekend.


Zack MacEwen inked by the Vancouver Canucks

Last Friday, Gatineau Olympiques forward Zack MacEwen, a Prince Edward Island native, agreed on the terms of a three-year, $ 847,500 contract with the Vancouver Canucks. Several clubs from the National Hockey League were showing a lot of interest in the 20-year-old player in recent weeks: Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Arizona, Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. In 60 games this season, the 6’3″ and 205-pound forward collected 65 points, including 28 goals and 38 assists. He totals 107 points with 38 goals in 135 games in a lifetime in the QMJHL.

Mathieu Joseph reaches 200-point milestone

Last Sunday, as the Saint John Sea Dogs hosted the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, the Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Mathieu Joseph, reached the 200-point plateau in a lifetime in the QMJHL. The Chambly native scored his 200th point on the power play, netting his 34th of the season. He managed the feat in just 197 games. As of Sunday, March 5th, he was ninth in points in Sea Dogs history, with just 4 points behind Chris DiDomenico.

Welsh, Tremblay and Sévigny named the three stars of the week

Matthew Welsh, Olivier Tremblay and Mathieu Sévigny were named the three stars of the week, for the period from February 27th to March 5th 2017.

The first star of the week is Charlottetown Islanders goaltender, Matthew Welsh. In two games, where he was named the 1st star on both occasion, the 17-year old goaltender won his 2 starts, one by shutout. He finished the week with a goals-against average of 0.50 and a 0.984 save percentage. In his first game in Rimouski, facing the Océanic, he made 25 saves in a 3-0 win for his 3rd shutout of the season. Yesterday against the Halifax Mooseheads, he was remarkable, stopping 35 of the 36 shots he faced, yielding only once in a 3-1 win.

The second star of the week is awarded to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies’ goaltender, Olivier Tremblay. In two games, the 19-year-old goaltender blanked his opponents in both starts, finishing the week with a goals-against average of 0.00 after blocking each of the 40 shots aimed at him. Last Friday against the Val-d’Or Foreurs, he made 14 saves in a convincing 7-0 win. Then Saturday, he made 26 saves in a 2-0 victory over the Victoriaville Tigres, a seventh consecutive win for the Abitibi team.

The third star of the week is given to Drummondville Voltigeurs’ forward, Mathieu Sévigny. In three games, all on the road, he scored 5 goals and 2 assists for a total of 7 points and concluded the week with a +2 rating. The Hartford, Connecticut native scored in each of his games. Against the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, he scored a goal in a 5-2 loss. The next day, in a 4-3 overtime win over the Val-d’Or Foreurs, he got a goal and a helper on Nathan Hudgin’s equalizer. On Friday against the Shawinigan Cataractes, he scored 3 goals, including the winner, adding one assist to complete the game with 4 points, matching his personal high for points and goals in one game.

Colorado Avalanche signs two players

Earlier this week, two good news came in early in the morning. One of the NHL team, the Colorado Avalanche, has signed two players from the QMJHL. Jean-Christophe Beaudin of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and Nicolas Meloche of the Charlottetown Islanders have signed an entry-level contract with the Denver club. Beaudin signed a three-year, two-way deal worth $683,000. The Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville native has scored 28 goals and 74 points in 59 games this season with the Huskies. Meloche, a Rosemère native advocate also has a three-year, two-way agreement that will earn him $ 760,000. Dealt during the trade deadline where he belonged to the Gatineau Olympiques, Meloche has earned 44 points, including 14 goals in 55 games with both teams this season.

St. John’s Ice Caps inks QMJHL graduate

The Montreal Canadiens affiliate club, the Saint John’s Ice Caps, signed Quebec native forward Guillaume Asselin on a one-year deal. This two-way contract will serve as a bridge between the American League (AHL) and the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), where he will line up with the Brampton Beast. A former QMJHL player, he played for the Montreal Junior, who picked him up in the first round of the 2008 Draft, as well as the Chicoutimi Saguenéens. In total, Guillaume earned 306 points, with 132 goals and 174 assists in 331 games on a five-year league-span.

Armada extends shutout record

Tuesday evening at the Colisée Financière Sun Life in Rimouski, the Océanic hosted the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. At the end of the meeting, Joel Bouchard’s troops defeated the home team by a 6-nothing score. With this win, they extended the record for the most shutout victories by a single team in one season, now at 10. It was Francis Leclerc, with his 4th shutout of the campaign, who provided the win for the Armada.

CIBC Showdown

This week, the QMJHL’s representative for the Canadian Hockey League’s CIBC Showdown is Peyton Hoyt from the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. His opponents are Roy Radke from the Barrie Colts (OHL) and Ty Edmonds from the Prince George Cougars (WHL). Link

Canada’s National Junior Team Retains Coaching, Management Staff

Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence Policy Committee, comprised of Hockey Canada Board chairman Joe Drago (Sudbury, Ont.), Hockey Canada president and chief executive officer Tom Renney, Hockey Canada chief operating officer Scott Smith, Ontario Hockey League commissioner and Canadian Hockey League president David Branch, QMJHL commissioner Gilles Courteau and Western Hockey League commissioner Ron Robison, has announced that the entire coaching staff of Canada’s 2016-17 National Junior Team has been retained for the 2017-18 season, including the World Junior Championship. Joël Bouchard will also continue as the Program of Excellence management group lead for Canada’s National Junior Team next season. Bouchard and Scott Salmond, Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations and national teams, confirmed that Dominique Ducharme would be reprising his role behind the bench as head coach. Rounding out the coaching staff are returning assistant coaches, Tim Hunter (Moose Jaw/WHL) and Kris Knoblauch (Erie/OHL). Details

2017 CIBC Canada-Russia Series hosts announced

The CHL in association with title partner CIBC, the WHL, the OHL and the QMJHL announced the six Canadian host cities for the 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series to be played November 6-16. The six-game series features regional league teams of Canadian National Junior Team candidates competing against the Russian National Junior Team and is an integral part of the identification process for Team Canada prior to the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. The 2017 event will open with two games in the WHL, followed by two OHL matchups. The series wraps up out East with Game 5 hosted by the QMJHL’s Charlottetown Islanders on Tuesday November 14, with the Game 6 series finale set for Thursday November 16 hosted by the Moncton Wildcats. The 2017 event marks the first time the series will be played in Prince Edward Island while all five other cities have previously hosted games. The event returns to Moncton for the first time since 2005 when the QMJHL emerged victorious by a 6-4 score. Details

Three QMJHL teams in the CHL Top 10

On Wednesday, the Canadian Hockey League announced the composition of the CHL Top 10 Rankings. The Saint John Sea Dogs took first place ahead of the Erie Otters (OHL) and the Regina Pats (WHL). The team became the first QMJHL club to rank first in the Top 10 this season. The Charlottetown Islanders continue to heel the Sea Dogs, this time climbing to sixth place, as they reached the eighth rung last week. The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies are back in the Top 10 and are ninth. No team from the QMJHL are in the honourable mentions.

Zykov recalled by Hurricanes

Late afternoon, Wednesday, the Carolina Hurricanes organisation recalled young Russian forward, Valentin Zykov. Zykov, a native of St. Petersburg, Russia, wore the uniform of two different teams during his stay in the QMJHL. With the Baie-Comeau Drakkar and the Olympiques. Valentin was a member of the North-coast team from the 2012-13 to 2014-15 season, before being traded to the Olympiques on the trade deadline at his last season in the league. In 162 games, he scored 84 goals and added 100 assists for 184 points. It was yesterday, Thursday, that he made his Hurricanes debut as the team was hosting the New York Rangers. He would conclude the game with his first NHL goal and three shots on net with 11:53 minutes of ice time. Video

Islanders sets and ties franchise records

In the final meeting of the season between the Charlottetown Islanders and the Moncton Wildcats, the Islanders notched a couple of records. With the win, the Islanders now have 91 points on the season, which is tied for the most ever in franchise history. They are tied with the 2003-04 P.E.I., Rocket. The Islanders also passed the previous record of most goals scored in a regular season by five. They now have 283, which is the most in the league by 16 ahead of the Sea Dogs. This is the Islanders ninth straight win, which is a new high for the Islanders team. The same PEI Rocket team won 10 in a row during the 2003-04 season.

The Montreal Canadiens agrees on terms with Simon Bourque

Saint John Sea Dogs defenseman Simon Bourque signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Montreal Canadiens. Bourque, who turned 20 in January, was selected by the Canadiens in the sixth round (177th overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft. The native of Longueuil, Quebec, has played 56 games with Saint John and the Rimouski Oceanic this season. He is among the league leaders for defenseman with 15 goals (tied for second), 36 assists (sixth) and 51 points (fifth). In four QMJHL seasons with the Sea Dogs and Oceanic, he scored 40 goals and added 104 assists for 144 points in 245 games.

Oliver Felixson diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma

On Thursday, the Saint John Sea Dogs announced that the 18-year-old defenseman native of Helsinki, Finland, had been diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma. It is is a rare but curable cancer of the blood and lymphatic system. According to Dr. Elizabeth Zed, who is working with Felixson, the treatment of the disease varies on a case-by-case basis and is usually treated with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapies. She said this form of cancer generally has a favourable prognosis. It’s the same form of cancer former Pittsburgh Penguins star Mario Lemieux was diagnosed with in 1993. Lemieux was able to successfully continue his hockey career after finishing his treatment. Oliver Felixson, who is two days shy of his 19th birthday, has two goals and nine points in 55 games this season with the Sea Dogs. He will be out of the lineup indefinitely while he is in treatment. The team has rallied around Felixson in the same manner they have for equipment manager David “DK” Kelly, who has fought and won more than one battle against thyroid cancer.

A former Cataractes reaches 1000 games

Eighteen years ago, a certain player named Radim Vrbata made his first steps in the QMJHL with the Hull Olympiques. Yesterday, the Czech-born forward, who plays for the Arizona Coyotes, has reached the NHL’s 1,000-game milestone. In his career, he played with six different teams: Colorado, Carolina, Chicago, Tampa Bay, Vancouver and Arizona/Phoenix. Vrbata began his career in the QMJHL in 1998-99 and will be playing for three seasons. He will finish his junior training course with the Shawinigan Cataractes, where he obtained 120 points, including 56 goals. In 167 games he scored 107 goals and added 147 assists for a total of 254 points.

Listen and watch

Two games will be available for the public this weekend on Rogerstv. Tonight, catch the red-hot Acadie-Bathurst Titan, as they host the young Halifax Mooseheads club. Puck drop at 7:00 pm Atlantic time. Then, on Saturday, watch the Titan as they host Daniel Sprong and the Charlottetown Islanders at 7:00 pm Atlantic time. Sunday, as the Quebec Remparts visits the Gatineau Olympiques, Sportsnet will be broadcasting live from the Centre Robert-Guertin. Puck drop set at 4:00 pm EST.

Upcoming games:

Friday March 10th: 9 games

Halifax Mooseheads at Acadie-Bathurst Titan – 7:00 pm AST

Moncton Wildcats at Cape Breton Screaming Eagles – 7:00 pm AST

Charlottetown Islanders at Saint John Sea Dogs – 7:00 pm AST

Québec Remparts at Victoriaville Tigres – 7:00 pm EST

Chicoutimi Saguenéens at Blainville-Boisbriand Armada – 7:30 pm EST

Sherbrooke Phoenix at Drummondville Voltigeurs – 7:30 pm EST

Shawinigan Cataractes at Gatineau Olympiques – 7:30 pm EST

Baie-Comeau Drakkar at Rimouski Océanic – 7:30 pm EST

Rouyn-Noranda Huskies at Val-d’Or Foreurs – 7:30 pm EST

Saturday March 11th: 5 games

Baie-Comeau Drakkar at Rimouski Océanic – 4:00 pm EST

Drummondville Voltigeurs at Sherbrooke Phoenix – 4:00 pm EST

Charlottetown Islanders at Acadie-Bathurst Titan – 7:00 pm AST

Moncton Wildcats at Cape Breton Screaming Eagles – 7:00 pm AST

Halifax Mooseheads at Saint John Sea Dogs – 7:00 pm AST

Sunday March 12th: 4 games

Shawinigan Cataractes at Blainville-Boisbriand Armada – 3:00 pm EST

Victoriaville Tigres at Chicoutimi Saguenéens – 4:00 pm EST

Québec Remparts at Gatineau Olympiques – 4:00 pm EST

Val-d’Or Foreurs at Rouyn-Noranda Huskies – 4:00 pm EST

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