It’s been 85 days since the NHL paused the 2019-20 season. That’s more than 12 weeks without hockey, but it feels like 12 years. My last half-d0zen ramblings have been honed in on the upcoming draft, which the NHL has teased us with, only to snatch it back with little more than a vague indication of when to expect it. Thankfully, while the NHL is still working on the kinks in their return-to-play plan, the rest of the hockey world hasn’t entirely stood still.
With the transaction freeze’s lifting for a brief window in the QMJHL and various other miscellaneous transactions taking place, it seems like a great time to revert to a classic format Ramblings!
To kick things off, one of the biggest stories out of the QMJHL is that after an outstanding season in which they traded away a massive amount of draft picks for players pending graduation, the Moncton Wildcats have wasted no time cutting their losses. In an effort to rebuild, the Wildcats traded two of their most promising young players, in Zachary L’Heureux and Elliot Desnoyers to the Halifax Mooseheads. The former is a gritty forward with a ton of offensive flair and upside who is projected to be selected in the top-15 of the 2021 draft. It’s a massive disappointment for Moncton to have to move on from him, but he will be welcomed to the retooling Hali-wood with open arms. Desnoyers is a quick two-way forward who transitions the puck well and is due for an uptick in production next season. Projected as a late fourth-round selection, he was somewhat buried among the strong lineup in Moncton this year and will certainly help to accelerate the rebuild in Halifax.
I went into a little more detail on Desonyers and other QMJHL draft eligible talents back in April here…
Staying in the Q, the Saint John Sea Dogs have completed several transactions over the last month involving players who were previously expected to pursue hockey in the collegiate realm. While the Dogs are already oozing with talent eligible for the 2020 draft (Jeremie Poirier, Josh Lawrence, Brady Burns, William Villeneuve, and Charlie Desroches), they’ve also gathered commitments from several budding 2021 eligible prospects. Cam Macdonald , previously of the Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) and committed to Boston College, as well as Peter Reynolds  previously of the Chilliwack Cheifs (BCHL) and also committed to Boston College have retracted their NCAA commitments and agreed to return to a rapidly developing squad in Saint John.