Clark Bishop of St. John’s became the third Newfoundlander to go third overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League midget draft when the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles scooped up the 16-year-old forward Saturday at the league’s annual lottery in Quebec City.
Bishop joins Brandon Hynes of Norris Point (2008, by the Victoriaville Tigres) and Colin Escott of St. John’s (2005, by the Gatineau Olympiques) as the only players to go No. 3 in the QMJHL Draft.
No Newfoundlander has gone either No. 1 or 2.
“I’m real excited to go that high, and I’m proud of myself because I’ve worked hard for this,” Bishop said Sunday night.
Should Bishop, who was ranked second overall in QMJHL Central Scouting heading into the draft, crack the Cape Breton roster next season, he would become the 12th Newfoundlander to suit up for the Screaming Eagles, joining current pros Adam Pardy, Luke Adam, Robert Slaney and Ryan Penney, Kyle Downer, Pat Yetman, Robbie Bennett, Matthew French, Justin Hawco, David Philpott and Dustin Russell.
Saturday was a banner day for Newfoundlanders at the draft , which was held at Le Colisee Pepsi as nine players were selected from this province.
Donaghey also went in first round
Defenceman Cody Donaghey was also tabbed in the first round, going 14th overall to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. Marcus Power of St. John’s just completed his rookie season in Rouyn-Noranda, scoring 24 points in 61 games.
The nine draftees marks the highest number of Newfoundlanders tabbed in the QMJHL draft since the days of the St. John’s Fog Devils. During the three-year run of the Fog Devils here, from 2005-07, 41 Newfoundlanders were selected in the draft, but 15 of those were tabbed by St. John’s.
Bishop was one of the St. John’s Privateers’ top players this season, collecting 21 goals and 49 points in 33 games. His strong suit, according to coaches and scouts, is his skating.
He just turned 16 on March 29, but already stands 5-foot-11 and weighs 170 pounds. Screaming Eagles general manager Pierre Roux compares Bishop’s style of play with Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews — a low-maintenance player who plays with smarts, confidence and has good wheels.
“When you have a chance to pick a guy third overall, it will be an impact player, for sure,” Roux told the Cape Breton Post. “He has the potential to be a good player in this league.”
The Screaming Eagles’ training camp opens Aug. 14 in Sydney, N.S.
The expansion Sherbrooke Phoenix selected centre Daniel Audette first overall, while the P.E.I. Rocket took winger Alexis Pepin with the second overall pick
As for Donaghey, he’s excited to be joining his best friend, Power, in northern Quebec.
“I know it’s a big change going to Noranda,” Donaghey told the Abitibi Express newspaper, “but I’m going to be working hard to make the team.”
Meanwhile, Hynes was dealt from Victoriaville to the Acadia-Bathurst Titan at the draft for two second-rounders and a fifth-rounder. Last season, Hynes registered 86 points (42 goals, 44 assists) in 61 games for the Tigres.
And last week, defenceman Michael Abbott of St. John’s was selected by the Phoenix in the league expansion draft. Abbott, a 6-foot, 180-pound rearguard, had a goal and seven assists in 46 games for the Rocket last season.
The nine Newfoundlanders selected in Saturday’s QMJHL Draft:
Clark Bishop (St. John’s), 1st round, 3rd overall, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles
Cody Donaghey (St. John’s), 1st round, 14th overall, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies
Lucas Batt (Lewisporte), 2nd round, 37th overall, Victoriaville Tigres
Liam Hynes (Ferryland), 4th round, 63rd overall, Moncton Wildcats
Tyler Whiffen (Grand Falls-Windsor), 5th round, 88th overall, Blainville-Boisbriand Armada
Nathan Yetman (Mount Pearl), 6th round, 100th overall, P.E.I. Rocket
Marcus Cuomo (St. John’s), 7th round, 121st overall, Saint John Sea Dogs
Kyle Tibbo (C.B.S.), 8th round, 145th overall, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies
Alex Snow (Baie Verte), 11th round, 186th overall, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles