On May 8, after watching hundreds of games and scrutinizing thousands of players this past season, the QMJHL’s Central Scouting published its final prospects ranking list for the upcoming entry draft. Eight players from the Wildcats have been named
The top draft-eligible player from the Wildcats is defenseman Carson Gallant of Ellershouse, Hants County, listed in the third round, 52nd overall.
Wildcats General manager Nick Greenough said there have been players in the past that have been named high on the draft list but Gallant could be one of the highest ranked to come out of their program.
He said Gallant is big, skates well and has a great skills set. He has “a little bit of everything going for him.” Greenough believes that Gallant could be a great Major Junior player down the road.
Right wing Riley Spears of Middle Sackville has been listed for rounds six to eight. Centre Robbie Dowell of Nictaux; goalie Joseph MacDonald of Ellershouse, defenseman Matt MacKay of Middle Sackville, Evan Weir of Kentville and left wing Gregor Yoell of Wolfville have been listed for rounds nine to 12 and left wing Isaac Chapman of Lower Sackville has been listed as an eligible player for the draft.
Greenough said the Wildcats have been fortunate over the past several years to have players drafted. He said some years there have been more than others but it looks good on a small, rural community. It demonstrates strong minor hockey roots and the strength of the Wildcats in developing players.
“I think it bodes well for the strength of our Major Bantam program and our Major Midgets,” Greenough said. “Some of these guys have come through both programs and they’re going to have bright careers.”
Greenough said they would love to see all of their players drafted. It makes the Wildcats a choice team as players recognize that the experience could be a stepping-stone to the next level. Most aspire to play Major Junior and being named on the draft list is the first step.
He said the Wildcats are essentially a developmental organization. Everyone wants to win championships but at the end of the day, if they have players drafted to Major Junior programs and they go on to play at a higher level, the Wildcats organization has done its job.
Greenough said their number-one goal is to ensure that once players leave the Wildcats, they’re better on and off the ice. They want to give players the opportunity to pursue hockey as a career and further their educations through the process.
He said that as higher-end players are drafted, it creates opportunities for others to step up and shine as the cycle of talent development continues.
“If our Major Bantam club is strong then the transition period is usually very minimal for us and the players will fit right in,” Greenough said.