MONTREAL, QC—HockeyProspect.com is back again this year with our 2016 QMJHL Mock Draft, our attempt to predict the first round of this year’s draft.
As always, trying to predict the QMJHL draft is extremely difficult. Every year, there are many trades happening on the Friday when the trade period opens, as well as on draft day itself. This year, Halifax holds the keys to the castle, as the player they select will have an immediate impact on the rest of the first round and mostly on what Baie-Comeau will do with their pick. Here’s how we see things:
1-Halifax: Benoit-Olivier Groulx F Gatineau (LHMAAAQ)
Interesting pick for Halifax with the talented Groulx, but also local star Jared McIsaac. The Mooseheads go for the top talent in the draft in Groulx. The Gatineau product was our #1 prospect all year long.
2-Baie-Comeau: Olivier Rodrigue G Jonquière (LHMAAAQ)
With Groulx gone and MacIsaac not likely to report there, the Drakkar goes with somewhat of a local pick in Jonquière’s Olivier Rodrigue. He’s our #1 ranked goaltender and 3rd overall in our final draft rankings. Trading down is a possibility as well here if Groulx is gone.
3-Drummondville: Jared McIsaac D Cole Harbour (NSMMHL)
McIsaac lands in Drummondville with a quality new head coach (Dominique Ducharme). We feel that the chances are good that he will report there. If he does, it’s a no-brainer pick for the Voltigeurs, who have not had a high-end prospect like McIsaac since Sean Couturier.
4-Sherbrooke: Jeremie Bucheler D Lac St-Louis (LHMAAAQ)
With the loss of Jérémy Roy, the Phoenix will replace him with another highly-skilled right-handed defenseman. Bucheler moves the puck well and will help on the power play. Bucheler has NCAA options, but Sherbrooke has good school programs and should be able to get Bucheler to report.
5-Acadie-Bathurst: Noah Dobson D Red Bull Academy (RBHRC U18)
Previously having drafted forwards in the first round (Boivin, Maher, Morand), this time, the Titan goes with a defenseman. Dobson, originally from P.E.I., played this past season with Titan prospect Kynan Berger with the Red Bull Academy. Dobson is a good candidate to replace Guillaume Brisebois in the future.
6-Blainville-Boisbriand: Gabriel Fortier F Lac St-Louis (LHMAAAQ)
Really interesting selection here, among lots of rumours that the Armada will trade that pick at some point before the draft. Fortier could go as high as 3rd to Drummondville if Groulx and McIsaac go 1-2.
7-Halifax: Andrew Coxhead F Dartmouth (NSMMHL)
With their 2nd first-round pick, the Mooseheads go for a more local flavour with Andrew Coxhead. The big winger has committed to play prep school with Salisbury next season, but Halifax should have good arguments to get him to report to their camp in August.
8- Moncton: Mathias Laferrière F Lac St-Louis (LHMAAAQ)
Best goal scorer available at this point. Moncton goes with Laferrière, who’s the biggest riser in the draft. Laferrière’s development has been remarkable this season. He can score and also play a solid two way game.
9-Cape-Breton: Xavier Bouchard D Amos (LHMAAAQ)
Compensation pick for not signing Shane Bowers, who was selected 4th overall in last year’s draft. Bouchard is an offensive defenseman who will excel on the power play. The Eagles are losing some players on the back end, and Bouchard should step right in next season.
10-Chicoutimi: Samuel Houde F Esther-Blondin (LHMAAAQ)
After picking many solid defensemen in last year’s draft (Krief, Groleau, MacIsaac and Noel), the Sags will go for a forward this time. Houde is the most likely candidate at this point, and he might need another season in Midget AAA, but has good potential. He showed some improvement this season.
11-Saint John: Anderson MacDonald F Saint-John (NBPEIMMHL)
The Sea Dogs go local with this pick, with the talented Anderson MacDonald. He has NCAA options, but the Sea Dogs never had difficulties in getting those kinds of players to report to their team. He’s physically mature and should have an impact next season, depending on ice time.
12- Drummondville: Edouard St-Laurent F Levis (LHMAAAQ)
With their 2nd first-round pick (acquired from Rimouski after Anthony DeLuca didn’t report to the Voltigeurs this year), St-Laurent will bring high-end speed and offensive skills to the table for the Volts.
13-Cape-Breton: Xavier Bernard D Chateauguay (LHMAAAQ):
The Eagles go with another defenseman with Bernard, who slipped to the 13th spot. Bernard and Bouchard played together in recent tournaments and they give the Eagles a solid 1-2 punch for the next four years.
14-Baie-Comeau: Olivier Mathieu F Magog (LHMAAAQ)
With their 2nd first-round pick, the Drakkar goes with Mathieu, who is small but knows how to score goals. He plays bigger than his size and fans in Baie-Comeau always appreciate those kinds of players.
15-Baie-Comeau: Shawn Element F Trois-Rivieres (LHMAAAQ)
Element fits perfectly within the style of play employed by the Drakkar. He brings a physical game and is a hard worker. Not as gifted offensively as other players in the first round, but he brings something that few players can bring in this draft class.
16-Halifax: Alexis Gravel G Mississauga (GTMMHL)
Gravel has options south of the border and played this past season in Ontario. With their 3rd pick in the first round, Halifax will take a gamble that they can get him to report next season. He’s our 2nd-ranked goaltender, 10th overall in our final rankings.
17-Victoriaville: Cedric Desruisseaux F Trois-Rivières (LHMAAAQ)
With their first round pick, the Tigres go with a local talent. Desruisseaux, if he was bigger, would likely be a top-10 pick in this draft. The Victoriaville native can bring offense and will fit nicely with Laberge and Comtois in the future.
18-Charlottetown: Mathieu Desgagnes F Châteauguay (LHMAAAQ)
The Islanders will lose some key forwards next season and go with Châteauguay’s Mathieu Desgagnes. He’s a smart two-way center who might need an extra year in midget next season. Chances are that since the draft is in Charlottetown, the Islanders may opt to make a move to improve their rank of selection.
19-Rouyn-Noranda: Guillaume Desmarais F Antoine-Girouard (LHMAAAQ)
With the last pick of the first round, the President’s Cup champions select Guillaume Desmarais of Antoine-Girouard. One of the youngest players in this draft, and with the depth on their team going into next season, the Huskies won’t be shy to let him play another year in Midget AAA. He played half of last season in AAA and the other in Espoir, but we like his game. He brings both offense and a physical game to the table.
|3||Drummondville||Jared McIsaac||D||Cole Harbour|
|4||Sherbrooke||Jeremie Bucheler||D||Lac St-Louis|
|5||Acadie-Bathurst||Noah Dobson||D||Red Bull Academy|
|6||Blainville-Boisbriand||Gabriel Fortier||F||Lac St-Louis|
|8||Moncton||Mathias Laferriere||F||Lac St-Louis|
|10||Chicoutimi||Samuel Houde||F||Esther Blondin|