Happy with the pro­gres­sion

Scream­ing Ea­gles happy with de­vel­op­ment of 2016 draft picks

Cape Breton Post - - Sports - BY JEREMY FRASER jeremy.fraser@cb­post.com

When a 16-year-old player gets cut from a QMJHL train­ing camp, it’s not be­cause the team doesn’t like what they have to of­fer, it’s more a case of want­ing the best for those play­ers, de­vel­op­ment-wise.

The Cape Bre­ton Scream­ing Ea­gles drafted 15 play­ers at the 2016 Que­bec Ma­jor Ju­nior Hockey League entry draft in Charlottetown last June, with three of those play­ers crack­ing the ma­jor ju­nior team’s ros­ter and the rest play­ing ei­ther midget AAA or ju­nior A.

With the 2016-17 sea­son fin­ished, Jac­ques Car­riere, Scream­ing Ea­gles head scout and as­sis­tant gen­eral man­ager, is happy with the pro­gres­sion of the team’s draft picks, es­pe­cially those from the lo­cal area.

The Scream­ing Ea­gles drafted Cape Bre­ton play­ers Leon Denny of Eska­soni in round two and Colten El­lis of River Denys in round four, while Ryan MacLel­lan, who played with the Cape Bre­ton West Is­landers, but is from Antigo­nish, also be­ing taken in round four.

“We re­ally wanted him (Colten El­lis) to go and make a dif­fer­ence in midget AAA and he did just that,” said Car­riere of El­lis help­ing the Is­landers win the Telus Cup last weekend. “Like I said about Colten, it also ap­plies to Ryan MacLel­lan. The guys that don’t make the team at 16-years-old and they come to camp, we want them to re­al­ize what it takes to be a ma­jor ju­nior player and we want them to go back to midget AAA and turn it into a pos­i­tive and lead­er­ship role, and we think both have done that.”

Car­riere also spoke highly of Denny, who is cur­rently play­ing with the Truro Bearcats at the Fred Page Cup eastern Cana­dian cham­pi­onships in Terrebonne, Que.

“What we are happy with about Leon is that he plays a rugged game and in or­der to play that kind of game, we felt he needed to play in a men’s league to play his style and de­velop his rugged style,” said Car­riere. “He’s made an im­pact on his team and he’s played re­ally well for them.”

Car­riere said the team is also happy with the pro­gres­sion of

the three 16-year-olds, Adam McCormick, Kevin Man­dolese and Olivier Bour­ret, who all made the team out of camp last year.

“We are re­ally happy with the way they de­vel­oped — they came to camp, com­peted and earned a spot,” he said. “As far as McCormick, we’re ex­tremely happy with the way he played. Man­dolese is on the radar for Hockey Canada and more than likely on the NHL Cen­tral Scout­ing list for next sea­son. Bour­ret also de­vel­oped well, we saw some good things in the lat­ter part of the year.”

Car­riere and his scout­ing team were re­cently in Bois­briand, Que., at­tend­ing the Ga­torade Frost Ex­cel­lence Chal­lenge, a tour­na­ment for the top 120 play­ers for this year’s QMJHL Entry Draft from At­lantic Canada and Que­bec.

He said the tour­na­ment is an im­por­tant part of the sea­son for scouts as its where they com­bine their At­lantic and Que­bec scout­ing lists, even­tu­ally mak­ing an over­all list head­ing into the draft each year.

This year’s QMJHL Entry Draft will take place on June 3 in Saint John, N.B.

Although the hockey sea­son is fin­ished, the work isn’t done for Car­riere and his team. The club will pre­pare for the draft by hav­ing 50-60 in per­son in­ter­views with play­ers, while they will also con­duct roughly 130 phone in­ter­views in May and early June.


Colten El­lis of the Cape Bre­ton West Is­landers makes a glove save dur­ing ac­tion at the At­lantic ma­jor midget hockey cham­pi­onships in Mi­ramichi, N.B., in April. and na­tional ti­tles this sea­son.

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