The top-ranked Cape Breton player for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft didn’t have to wait long to hear his named called.
Defenceman Lane Hinkley was selected No. 16 overall by the Acadie-Bathurst Titan during the QMJHL’s first-ever virtual draft, which was aired live on the league’s Youtube channel Friday night.
“I’m ecstatic, I’m pumped and I’m looking forward to the opportunity,” said Hinkley when reached by phone in Pleasant Bay following the draft.
“There was more celebrating then thinking at the time I was picked, we were all jumping, screaming and hugging each other.”
Prior to the draft, Hinkley was ranked in the third-round at No. 37 overall by QMJHL Central Scouting. Hinkley wasn’t overly surprised with the selection.
“I spoke to them (Acadie-Bathurst) before,” said Hinkley. “It means a lot, it means a lot for them to give me a huge opportunity and I appreciate it.”
After starting his minor hockey career on the west side of Cape Breton, Hinkley and his family moved to the Moncton area after his father, David, sold his lobster licence and moved to New Brunswick.
The now 16-year-old defenceman played his major bantam hockey with the Moncton Flyers during the 2016-17 season, recording four assists in 27 games. He later moved to Ontario and played two seasons with the Vaughan Kings, a team located just north of Toronto, while attending The Hill Academy, an independent school for student-athletes.
Last season, the six-foot, 205-pound Hinkley suited up for the Toronto Marlboros of the Greater Toronto Hockey League, a midget hockey program, recording three goals and eight points in 27 games.
Hinkley, who was watching the draft with his family, believes he’s ready to make the jump to major junior hockey next season.
“My goal is to crack the team and establish myself in the league,” said Hinkley, the son of David and Tanya Hinkley.
The QMJHL Entry Draft will resume Saturday with Rounds 2-14 scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.
Sydney Mitsubishi Rush forward Drew MacIntyre is the highest-ranked Cape Breton player remaining in the draft. The Sydney product is ranked in the fourth-round, No. 64 overall, by QMJHL Central Scouting.
Rush teammates Reese Allen, Brandon Clarke, Lucas Fraser, Nick Mahar, Whalen Matthews, Preston Pattengale, Van Sawlor, and Trey Sturge are ranked in the 13th-round and up category of the 14-round draft.
Meanwhile, Cape Breton West Islanders players Liam Trenholm, Lewis Taylor and Cody Van de Sande were also given a 13th-round and up ranking.
Sebastian Lever, who has connections to Glace Bay, was ranked between the 9-12th rounds. The goaltender played with the Halifax McDonalds last season.
Follow the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft live on Twitter with the Cape Breton Post's Jeremy Fraser. To follow live click here.