5 Observations on the QMJHL Maritime Division

5) Young and Skilled

The Cape Breton Eagles had a very dangerous team this season.

Unfortunately we didn’t see the Eagles take flight in the playoffs.

There’s no question they had all the pieces in place for an upset and making an impromptu run at a President Cup.

The Eagles will have their work cut out for them this season, but if there’s no hockey in the AHL or ECHL the Eagles could be in phenomenal shape if Egor Sokolov and a few others were to return hypothetically, but that’s highly unlikely.

The Eagles have a very solid crop of prospects coming up that will be the future for the organization.

With Jake Grimes brilliance behind the bench the Eagles might have a difficult go at it early on with such an young core, but they will be just fine moving forward.

I don’t like predictions, I prefer projections.

Connor Trenholm and Jeremy Langlois are going to be stars in the QMJHL, how’s that for projections.

There might be a few bumps in the road, but the future is very bright in Cape Breton.

Asset management is going to be critical moving forward for the Eagles.

Obviously the Eagles will likely move Francis and Element during the trade period to bolster their next potential championship run.

4) Something Brewing on the Island

The Charlottetown Islanders are a year away from something special.

June’s draft should be a great indicator to see how aggressive the Islanders are going to be moving forward.

Jim Hulton and his staff have done a fantastic job building a young talented hard working core group.

The Islanders will have to solidify their goaltending situation by bringing in a veteran to help Goobie carry the load this coming season, but a after that the net belongs to the young netminder.

Hulton provide tremendous insight on the direction of the organization in the article below.

Photo Credit The Guardian
https://fdspodcastnetwork.com/2020/01/07/culture-and-character-the-charlottetown-islanders-formula-for-success/

3) What’s Next for the Acadie-Bathurst Titan?

The rebuild continues, that’s what’s next for the Titan.

Obviously, things haven’t gone well for the Titan, but the reinforcements are coming.

From what I’ve heard the Titan are going to land a significant piece at the draft to complete the Shawn Element deal which is definitely going to help the present, but what about the future?

Well if things go to plan the Titan are going to have an exceptional core in which to build around for the years to come.

The Titan will have to hit a homerun at the draft this year to ensure they continue to move in the right direction.

There’s still a lot of questions surrounding the direction of the team, but they will soon be answered, the talent is on it’s way!

2) Are the Sea Dogs and Mooseheads Trade Partners? Who’s going to be the Dogs New Coach?

The Sea Dogs need a goaltender. The Mooseheads need young impact players and future prospects for their rebuild which isn’t going to take too long considering the return from the Wildcats.

Alexis Gravel would be a fantastic fit in the Port City.

Photo Credit TVA Sports
https://fdspodcastnetwork.com/2020/05/16/sea-dogs-targeting-gravel/

It’s really unfortunate, but all the rumours are pointing to the fact that the Chicago Blackhawks aren’t going to sign Gravel, which is incredibly disappointing.

I know it’s a business, but that has to be devastating for the player and their family.

Looking at some of the comments on the article that was published two days ago now was extremely disheartening.

https://fdspodcastnetwork.com/2020/05/14/the-highway-2-blockbuster/

Alexis Gravel is a great netminder, which has been confronted with some adversity over his career, but he’s an incredible person that does amazing things off the ice.

It’s really maddening to see hockey’s version of key boards warriors criticizing that young man.

Why must people and self perceived hockey exports be so negative and shit on young players.

Opinions are like assholes, everyone has them.

Personally, I’m wishing nothing but the best for Alexis Gravel moving forward and hoping all of his hockey dreams come to fruition.

As for the vacant head coaching position. Well is it vacant or is it being filled by Jeff Cowan?

It’s been all quiet in the Port City on that front.

Cowan did a great job last season after Josh Dixon was fired.

Jim Midgley’s name has surfaced and he would be a great fit if in fact the Dogs elect to make a move.

The more pressing question that should be asked is.

What’s happening in Shawinigan?

Is Gordie Dwyer returning behind the bench?

Dwyer did a phenomenal job with the young competitive Cats team and pointed that organization in the right direction after taking over late in the season.

Dwyer, Cowan and Midgley would all be great candidates.

The real question coming out of the Port City should be.

How are going to build a potential back to back championship team with no coach?

One would think the Sea Dogs will have to have a coach in place before the QMJHL Draft.

1) Could the Moncton Wildcats Jump Into the 1st Round?

Could the Moncton Wildcats jump into the 1st round of the 2020 QMJHL Draft?

Of course they could, but that doesn’t mean they will.

Anything can happen on Draft Day and the Wildcats definitely have two massive assets they could decide to move if the offer was right.

It’s highly unlikely that the Cats Director of Hockey Operations Ritchie Thibeau will move Jordan Spence and Jakob Pelletier at the upcoming draft.

Photo Credit Daniel St Louis

You can rest assured Thibeau and his staff won’t be pushed or coerced into making a deal for the sake of making a deal.

There’s really no urgency at all given all the uncertainty, but let’s just speculate for a brief moment, that a team jumps at the opportunity of potentially landing both Spence and Pelletier.

That’s extremely unlikely to happen, but you can guarantee a high 1st rounder would be on the table.

Would it be worth it for the Wildcats to make a splash now rather than later?

Again that all depends on the return or if the Cats are targeting a specific player that they can’t pass up or that they feel is the cornerstone for their next championship run.

Time will certainly tell, but if there was any year that the Wildcats could make a splash and jump into the 1st round this would be it.

Thibeau has arguably have the best defenceman and best forward in the entire league at his disposal.

One can only imagine how many calls Thibeau has taken about dynamic duo since the QMJHL Draft Lottery.

Speaking of draft lottery which team or possible championship contender could afford to trade 1st rounder and future considerations for veteran 19’s?

I suppose I can continue to beat a dead horse by mentioning the Saint Sea Dogs, but realistically it would appear that they are going to keep the 3rd overall pick.

One can only speculate who the Dogs are going to potentially land at three, perhaps we should expect the unexpected.

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