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QMJHL brawling ban: how will it affect the future of its players?
Less than two months ago, the QMJHL made a major decision regarding fighting in its league. Two players throwing gloves will automatically result in expulsion.

An instigator will receive a one-game suspension, and an aggressor two. My colleague, Marc-Olivier Cook, provides a detailed explanation in this paper:

But will banning brawls lead to a drop in players from this league being drafted to the big league?

Earlier this week, I had the chance to play a golf tournament at Lac St-Marie with my cousin’s family. Two people in particular were there, and I had the chance to have a chat with them. Let’s just say their field hockey knowledge is very good and they have a certain credibility.

They are Émile Perron, current defenseman with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, and Luc Perron, his father, who was drafted in the QMJHL and captained the Gatineau Intrépide in Midget AAA. Both agreed that, yes, banning fighting in the QMJHL will have a significant impact on the number of players drafted into the NHL.

Incidentally, the two are not only good field hockey players, they are also exceptional golfers. Having played in the same foursome as Luc, I can confirm that his iron shots go farther than my tee shots with a one-wood in hand.

But to get back to field hockey, the number of players from the QMJHL going straight to the NHL could drop in the future.

What’s the point? Because if a team is looking for a physical player who isn’t afraid to throw down the gloves, for example, they’ll look to the OHL and WHL, the QMJHL’s two rival leagues. Because in these leagues, fighting is still legal.

It’s true that throwing down the gloves isn’t as fashionable as it once was, but a dance between two behemoths can change the pace of a game from time to time.

Teams aren’t looking for brawlers as much as in recent years, but at the end of the draft, a team looking to add attitude and grit isn’t necessarily going to turn to the Quebec league, due to new measures among other things.

Moreover,the province of Quebec has always been more conservative when it comes to the physical aspect of the game. This has its advantages, but also its disadvantages.

Over the next few years, we’ll see whether the number of QMJHL players drafted into the NHL will decline, but it’s clear that the phenomenon began this year. For the fourth year in a row, a Q team won the Memorial Cup. And across the country, players from the Quebec league dominated. Yet, in the first two rounds of the 2023 draft, only two players were drafted, none of them in the first round.

They were Ethan Gauthier (37th) and Étienne Morin (48th).

In all, 12 (!) players (only) from the league found takers. Times have changed, unfortunately…

In brief

– Remember, he’s currently an RFA.

– Wow.

– Canadian in good position.

– What are the Red Sox doing?

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