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Picks of the crop: Eight Newfoundlanders taken in QMJHL draft


Just as there were last year, eight Newfoundlanders were selected in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft Saturday in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

Goaltender Lucas Fitzpatrick poses with Quebec Remparts president Jacques Tanguay (left) and Remparts head coach/general manager Phillippe Boucher (right) after Quebec made him a second-round pick in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s 2016 draft in Charlottetown. P.E.I., on Saturday. Fitzpatrick, who is originally from Mount Pearl, but lives in Nova Scotia and played for the Cole Harbour (N.S.) Wolfpack midget team last season, was the highest-drafted Newfoundlander Saturday.

Goaltender Lucas Fitzpatrick, originally from Mount Pearl, was the highest to go, in the second round, 35th overall, to the Quebec Remparts.

Fitzpatrick now lives in Lower Sackville, N.S., and suited up for the Cole Harbour midgets last season. His older brother, Evan, is the star netminder for the QMJHL's Sherbrooke Phoenix, and was drafted fourth overall by Sherbrooke in 2014.

The elder Fitzpatrick is the top-ranked North American goalie in NHL Central Scouting's mid-term rankings.

Related story:

Ready to be swept up in the draft

Nick Gosse of Conception Bay South went in the third round, 48th overall, to the Rimouski Oceanic.

Gosse is a 6-1, 175-pound forward who played for the York Simcoe Express minor midget team in Ontario this past season. The Express won the Ontario Minor Hockey Association championship along with the OHL Cup, a season-ending tournament for the top 20 minor midget AAA teams in Ontario and the U.S.

If Gosse cracks the Rimouski lineup next season, he will be the sixth Newfoundlander to wear an Oceanic jersey, joining Ryane Clowe, Jon Pardy, Mark Tobin, Andrew Picco and Tyler Boland.

Boland, as an overager, and Picco will both be returning to Rimouski next season.

Gosse’s teammate on the Express, Matt McKim of St. John’s was the top-rated player by Quebec league Central Scouting at 31st overall heading into Saturday’s draft.

McKim, however, slid all the way to the seventh round, 127th overall, where he was taken by the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, QMJHL champs and Memorial Cup finalists this past season.

McKim, who did not attend the draft, informed teams he will be playing for the St. Andrew’s varsity team in Aurora, Ont., next season. St. Andrew’s is the alma mater of Arizona State’s Matt Kennedy of Mount Pearl.

McKim, who has had informal discussions with NCAA Division 1 programs, did not commit to the QMJHL in pre-draft meetings.

 

 OTHER NEWFOUNDLANDERS TO GO IN SATURDAY’S DRAFT

• Mount Pearl’s Chris Murphy, a forward for the St. John’s Privateers, was picked in the sixth round, 95th overall, by the Moncton Wildcats. Murphy’s brother, Andrew, was selected in the eighth round, 145th overall, by the Charlottetown Islanders last season.

Kyle McGrath of St. John’s also went in the sixth round, 101st overall, to the Charlottetown Islanders. McGrath played for the St. John’s Maple Leafs last season, and was the Newfoundland and Labrador Major Midget Hockey League’s top scorer and playoff MVP.

• Also in the sixth round, defenceman Devan Newhook was taken 103rd overall by the Saint John Sea Dogs. Newhook played for the Privateers last season.

• Forward Liam Leonard of Clarenville was selected in the seventh round, 116th overall, by the Remparts. Leonard played this past season with Bishops College School in Sherbrooke, Que.

Matt Templeman of St. John’s, a defenceman, went in the 13th round, 230th to Moncton. Templeman captained Newbridge Academy’s under-18 squad in Lower Sackville, N.S. last season.

rshort@thetelegram.com 

 

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