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ROBIN SHORT: Province produces another six QMJHL draft picks; Riley Mercer goes 31st overall

Riley Mercer is the top-ranked Newfoundland and Labrador prospect by QMJHL Central Scouting, ranked in the third round, 43rd overall. — Contributed
Riley Mercer was the 31st overall pick by the Drummondville Voltigeurs in the QMJHL Draft Saturday.. — Contributed

For third straight year, half-dozen players from N.L. drafted into Quebec junior league

For a third straight year, six players from Newfoundland and Labrador were selected in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Entry Draft, an event this past weekend which will be known as the year of the goaltender for this province.

Three netminders were picked in the virtual draft, including the province’s top pick, Riley Mercer of Bay Roberts, who went in the second round, 31st overall, to the Drummondville Voltigeurs, who moved up 12 spots to select him.

That’s the same Volts club that made Mercer’s older brother, Dawson, the eighth overall pick in the 2017 QMJHL draft.

Dawson Mercer spent two-and-a-half years in Drummondville before being dealt to Chicoutimi this season as the Sagueneens loaded up for a President’s Cup championship run.

The draft was held virtually on the league’s YouTube channel because of COVID-19. The first round was staged Friday, with Rounds 2-14 Saturday.

Riley Mercer, 16, was the top-ranked Newfoundland and Labrador prospect by QMJHL Central Scouting, ranked in the third round, 43rd overall.

The athletic 6-1, 185-pound puckstop was 10-5-2 with a 2.33 goals against average and .930 save percentage for the Tri-Pen Osprey in the Newfoundland and Labrador Major Midget Hockey League this season.

Cruz Loughlin of Torbay was the second goalie to go, in the fifth round, 84th overall, to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. One of the Huskies’ assistant coaches is Brad Yetman of St. John’s.

Loughlin was ranked in the fourth round, 67th overall, by CSB. He played major midget for the East Coast Blizzard last season where he was 10-3-2 (2.77 GAA and .919 save percentage).

Dekon Randall-Snow of St. John’s was chosen in the eighth round, 134th overall, by the Baie Comeau Drakkar. Randall-Snow played at the Ontario Hockey Academy in Cornwall, Ont. last season.

Three Newfoundland and Labrador goalies were the most selected in a single draft in over 25 years, according to Hockey NL.

Centre Nathan Casey of Grand Falls-Windsor was selected in the fourth round, 75th overall, by the Moncton Wildcats. Casey played prep school hockey at Mount Saint Charles High in Rhode Island last season, and is the son of Brian Casey, who played two seasons in the QMJHL with the St. Jean Lynx.

Forward Christian Reardon of Bryant’s Cove went in the 11th round, 198th overall, to the Rimouski Oceanic. Reardon was sixth in major midget scoring for Tri-Pen last season, with 13 goals and 31 points in 31 games.

Finally, Mount Pearl’s Travis Badcock was chosen in the12th round, 204th overall by the Halifax Mooseheads. A defenceman, Badcock had five goals and 11 points in 31 games for the major midget East Coast Blizzard last year.

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