Friday, September 4, 2015

Notebook: Season Starts Soon

The 2015-16 QMJHL regular season begins in just over a week for the Sea Dogs.

Next Saturday, Sept 12 at 7 p.m., the Sea Dogs will host the Halifax Mooseheads at Harbour Station to kick off a new campaign. They’ll also be in action at the Station on Sunday, Sept. 13 when they host the Moncton Wildcats at 3 p.m.

The Mooseheads went winless in the pre-season, finishing 0-4-0-1 and had one game fogged out. They were outscored 26-12.

Stephane Leroux of RDS has an article where he takes a look at some of the major storylines heading into the 2015-16 season.

The major storylines that involve the Sea Dogs are: the arrival of the league’s first exceptional player in Joe Veleno, Danny Flynn returning to the Q and Luke Green being a highly regarded prospect for the 2016 NHL Draft.

MARSH IN THE NEWS has a solid article on Sea Dogs forward and Detroit Red Wings prospect Adam Marsh.

It sounds like the Red Wings think highly of their 2015 seventh-round pick.

"This was a guy we thought would be gone," said Tyler Wright, Detroit's director of amateur scouting. "We actually talked about him in the sixth round but we went with the big defenseman (Patrick Holway) with the right shot.

"(Marsh) was there in the seventh, so it was a no-brainer for us."

Marsh had 24 goals and 20 assists in 60 games as a QMJHL rookie last season.

Hockey’s Future has named Sea Dogs defenseman Thomas Chabot the top prospect in the Ottawa Senators organization.

“If Erik Karlsson signs elsewhere when his contract expires in 2019, the Senators now have a backup plan,” writes Kristopher Bras. “More likely though, Karlsson and Chabot will together give the team one of the most dangerous bluelines in the NHL.”

Chabot is ranked ahead of some notable names – Colin White, Nick Paul and Matt Puempel.

The Boston Bruins blog Stanley Cup of Chowder has named Jakub Zboril the 15th best under-25 player in the B’s organization. They have a nice quick feature on him here.

The Sea Dogs... League Favourites?

Will the 2015-16 Saint John Sea Dogs be good enough to win a QMJHL championship? Willy Palov of the Chronicle Herald believes so.

From Palov’s Friday column (click link to read) – in which he ranks the Sea Dogs as the President Cup favourites:

Their target year is 2016-17 but there are just too few holes in their lineup to ignore them this season. The Sea Dogs’ defence is stacked and their forward group is the deepest in the league. The only question mark is in goal, but management believes off-season acquisition Marc-Antoine Turcotte is underrated.

Buckle up, boys and girls. Opening night is soon.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Rivalry Cup Is Back

The Saint John Sea Dogs and Moncton Wildcats announced yesterday that the once interesting turned boring turned barely talked about Brunswick News Rivalry Cup will return for another season.

The Sea Dogs and Wildcats have held the season long competition since 2009 but has seemingly gone downhill in popularity each season.

Like last year, there will be no attendance or fan competition points up for grabs. The winning club in games between the two teams will simply earn one point with the team with the most points at the end of the year winning the trophy. There will be nine meetings between the two, so there won’t be a tie.

The first meeting will be on Sept. 13 at Harbour Station – the second game of the year for the Sea Dogs. Here are when all nine meetings will take place:

Sunday, September 13th - Moncton at Saint John, 3 p.m.
Saturday, October 24th - Moncton at Saint John, 7 p.m.
Sunday, October 25th - Saint John at Moncton, 3 p.m.
Thursday, November 12th - Moncton at Saint John, 8 p.m.
Friday, December 4th - Moncton at Saint John, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, December 9th - Saint John at Moncton, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, February 3rd - Saint John at Moncton, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, March 9th - Saint John at Moncton, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 12th - Moncton at Saint John, 7 p.m.

According to a Sea Dogs news release, the QMJHL is bringing back Rivalry Weekend, which will be held Oct. 24-25.

Moncton won seven of the nine meetings between the two last season. They have won the past three Rivalry Cups and five of the seven all-time.

You can follow the thrilling challenge here all season long.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Sea Dogs Announce Season Opening Roster

The Sea Dogs have announced their 2015-16 season opening roster.

The 23-man roster consists of two goaltenders, seven defencemen and 14 forwards. Via a Sea Dogs news release, here is the full roster:
A quick glance at Saint John’s roster shows some inexperience in net, a staked and young defence core and some quality depth up front. This should be an interesting season.

Saint John’s three overage players will be goaltender Marc-Antoine Turcotte, defenseman Adam Bateman and forward Sam Povorozniouk. Their two import players will be defensemen Jakub Zboril and Oliver Felixson.

The Sea Dogs will be shorthanded to start the season with nine of these players attending NHL training camps – Jason Bell (Calgary Flames), Thomas Chabot (Ottawa Senators), Jakub Zboril (Boston Bruins), Samuel Dove-McFalls (Philadelphia Flyers), Bokondji Imama (Tampa Bay Lightning), Mathieu Joseph (Tampa Bay Lightning), Adam Marsh (Detroit Red Wings), Nathan Noel (Anaheim Ducks) and Spencer Smallman (Carolina Hurricanes).

To help fill some of the holes that will be left during NHL camp time, the Sea Dogs have or will call up defensemen Ian Smallwood and Pierre-Luc Lurette and forwards Ben Reid, Ryan Kenny and Will Kelly.

Saint John’s season opener is on Sept. 12 at Harbour Station against the Halifax Mooseheads.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Monday, August 31, 2015

Auger Nets Chicago Wolves Invite

Former Sea Dogs goaltender Sebastien Auger will get at least a shot at professional hockey.
It was announced earlier this summer that Auger had been recruited by the UQTR Patriotes for the upcoming season. CIS players getting invites to AHL or other professional camps is not uncommon.

The Wolves are affiliated with the St. Louis Blues.

Auger played four seasons with the Sea Dogs from 2011-2015. In 183 career QMJHL games, the now 21-year-old posted a 77-98 record with a 3.14 goals against average and a .907 save percentage. He also had a 1-8 record in nine playoff games with a 4.98 GAA and .883 SV%.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Cuomo Leaves Remparts; Zilbert Joins Slammers

According to reports, former Sea Dogs forward Marcus Cuomo has left Quebec Remparts training camp.
Where Cuomo will play this season has not been announced.

Cuomo is a 20-year-old, which made his QMJHL options limited. The Remparts acquired Bronson Beaton from the Moncton Wildcats on Saturday, which gave Quebec four overage players.

The St. John’s native played two seasons with the Sea Dogs from 2012 to 2014. He was traded to the Remparts last season where he posted six goals and 19 assists in 64 games with the Memorial Cup hosts. He added two goals and an assist in seven playoff games.

Meanwhile, former Sea Dogs forward Noah Zilbert has rejoined the MHL’s Woodstock Slammers.

“I am very excited to rejoin the Woodstock Slammers this year,” Zilbert said in an article on the team’s website. “It is a big year and I can’t wait to get things rolling. I started my junior career in Woodstock and I can’t think of a better way to finish it off than by winning a championship.”

Zilbert played one regular season game and a few playoff games with the Slammers during the 2011-12 season. He was drafted 11th overall by Woodstock in the 2011 MHL Draft.

The Fredericton native played two seasons with the Sea Dogs from 2012 to 2014. He was traded to Gatineau last year and then sent to Moncton midseason. He was in tough to make the ‘Cats this year and reportedly left the team’s training camp to “evaluate his options.”

Woodstock is hosting the 2016 Fred Page Cup.

With Cuomo and Zilbert exiting the league, only three players from Saint John’s 2012 draft class remain in the Q: Matthew Highmore, Olivier LeBlanc and Spencer Smallman.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation