The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles hold 14 selections heading into the 2017 QMJHL draft, highlighted by two choices in round one and an additional two picks in round two. The league’s 18 teams will participate in the annual draft session on Saturday, June 3rd, in Saint John, New Brunswick. Screaming Eagles general manager and head coach Marc-André Dumont says that the event is a rewarding day for the club’s scouts, and is a “Result of countless hours and kilometres travelled by our scouting staff and our Head Scout (Jacques Carrière) from September to May.”
Cape Breton holds back to back selections in the opening round, at spots #14 and #15. The 14th pick, which originally belonged to Shawinigan, was acquired by the Screaming Eagles (along with two other selections, including the 26th pick in 2017) from Québec in exchange for Cape Breton’s 2016 first round choice. The 15th pick was obtained from Blainville-Boisbriand as part of the deal that sent Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Armada. Cape Breton’s first round pick now belongs to Rimouski as a result of the swap that moved Michael Joly to Cape Breton.
In round two the Screaming Eagles hold the selections originally belonging to Sherbrooke (#21) and Québec (#27). Cape Breton acquired the 20th selection in a swap of picks in 2015. The Screaming Eagles are scheduled to pick once in round three, holding Charlottetown’s choice (#53), after the trade that sent Tobie Bisson to Blainville-Boisbriand. Cape Breton’s original second and third round choices were flipped to Québec in exchange for Ross MacDougall.
Currently the Eagles hold nine additional selections after the third round, choosing in each round except rounds six, seven, and ten. Cape Breton also holds Gatineau’s 11th round choice. Those additional picks are as follows- #66, #84, #138, #156, #189, #192, #210, #228, and #246.
Dumont says his staff likes to choose the best player available with each selection, while ensuring as the day progresses that they have quality at all positions on all sides of the ice. Carrière believes the 2017 class is fairly balanced in terms of depth at each position and from each region within the league’s borders, while citing that there is not as much quality available at the goaltending position.
Heading into Saint John, Cape Breton’s general manager notes that the organization has conducted 60 interviews in person with draft eligible players and their families, with each interview lasting about an hour. In addition, Screaming Eagle scouts have interviewed 120 players by telephone. Dumont believes the draft is a foundation of the team’s success. “We are building this team with players who have what it takes to wear our logo proudly. We spend a lot of time and effort to select players that our fans will be proud and excited to cheer on at Centre 200”.
Carrière, who also serves as Cape Breton’s assistant general manager, will be taking part in his fourth draft with the Screaming Eagles organization. The head scout says, “We believe it takes a special person to wear an Eagles jersey and that is what we look for over the season on the ice and in the post-season in the interviews.”
Prior to Saturday’s selection process, the QMJHL’s spring trading period opens on Friday, June 2nd. Dumont says “any scenario that helps our team will be weighed” and that “all options are open”. Along with holding 14 picks in this year’s draft, Cape Breton currently has 18 selections in the 2018 entry draft, including six choices in the first four rounds.
The 2017 QMJHL entry draft will be held at Harbour Station in Saint John and admission is free for all wishing to attend. The event begins at 10 AM.
Click on links below to view picks & draft order: