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Draft: several NHL executives did not come to Quebec this year

Quebec field hockey really isn’t perfect, since fewer and fewer guys from here are being drafted, but it can’t be all that bad when you see that the QMJHL hasn’t lost the Memorial Cup tournament since Windsor won it in 2017.

But despite this, and despite the fact that the MVP of the 2023 NHL series is a local guy (who wasn’t drafted), Quebec is still ignored at the draft. Again this year, we’re not talking about a great crop.

In fact, there are even teams that didn’t deign to send their GM or head scout to Quebec to see this year’s top QMJHL prospects. Ouch.

The problem? Very few players will emerge in the early rounds of the draft, so scouts aren’t going anywhere. And then there’s the domino effect of depth players not getting the same exposure as in other leagues.

It has an impact when they travel. You come to see Mathieu Cataford, for example, or Ethan Gauthier, and you leave having seen many of their teammates too.

The best example is the Seattle Thunderbirds. They have two top-ranked guys, and eventually, several other players on their team caught the eye. – A scout

On a league-wide scale, one wonders if the pandemic didn’t have a role to play. After all, today’s 18-year-olds weren’t in the Q in the 2020-2021 season.

Remember how midget AAA players didn’t have optimal conditions in which to develop?

Ethan Gauthier, Étienne Morin and Mathieu Cataford are the three big names to remember. But behind them, it’s a lot slimmer in what could unfortunately be one of the smallest vintages in Quebec history.

It won’t be a festival of Quebec choices in the early rounds.

Of course, one wonders whether this is only being said because of the talent involved. After all, we know that many gen are biased towards the QMJHL and the Quebec product. And in a smaller vintage, that can tip the balance too much, can’t it?

For example, I’d be surprised to learn that Julien BriseBois and Martin Madden Jr. aren’t aware of the field hockey that’s been played in the Q over the past year. They’ve always had faith in the talent here.

I don’t know how much the Habs and other teams will or won’t draft in the Quebec league in two and three days. Sometimes, all it takes is one team’s crush…

We can always hope.

In bursts

– Oh no.

– All is not well in Trois-Rivières.

– We’ve done it.

– This is where Stéphane Julien leaves.

– Really?

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