QMJHL Report – November 2018

by Carl Sinclair on November 2, 2018

 

What’s up in the Q?

 

As we get passed the 15-game mark in the QMJHL, the pictures are getting clearer about which teams should be the dominant forces and who should be looking to trade their key assets in order to make the rebuilding turn.

 

It made no doubt prior to the season start that both Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and Halifax Mooseheads would be simply too talented and experienced not to be in the league’s top squads. Well here they are, currently sitting on top of the standings with an excellent .786 winning percentage as of October 25th. While there is no visible weakness on the Rouyn-Noranda roster, the desire to win could be a bit stronger in Halifax as they will host the 2019 Memorial Cup. The two teams are in the league’s top 4 in both goals-for and goals-against and expectations are that those two giants easily make it to the QMJHL’s semi-finals barring any major injury.

 

Not too far behind are teams with great potential to cause some turbulence in this year’s run for glory. The Rimouski Oceanic are currently the number-eight team overall, but it could be fair to say that they have a shot at finishing the regular season in the top five at least. Offensively, Rimouski has both league leaders in points in Dimitry Zavgorodniy (26) and Alexis Lafrenière (25), and the team sits fourth overall in goals-against (43) in 15 games played.

 

Where would the Drummondville Voltigeurs be with Maxime Comtois in their lineup? There is, of course, no factual answer to this question and we may never have to ask such a question again as it would be highly probable to see Comtois staying with the Anaheim Ducks this year. Nonetheless, the Voltigeurs are still making their way on top of the league and are shamelessly sitting on the fourth overall spot after 14 games played. It would still be interesting to see where Drummondville will stand in the next trade window as Comtois’ absence isn’t to be taken lightly if they wanted to have a shot at the big prize this year.

 

The Chicoutimi Saguenéens are one of the biggest surprises so far this season.  While it was expected that Maple Leafs draftee, Zachary Bouthillier would be the team’s starter, 18 years old Alexis Shank got off to such a great start this season and is becoming the go-to guy moving forward. Shank is showing an impressive 1.22 GAA along with a sky-rocketing .954 save percentage. Could this ease up a trade for the Sags where Bouthillier would be moved for some 2019-20 reinforcements?

 

It makes no doubt by now that the Acadie-Bathurst Titan will be looking for future in exchange of their present talents. And talking about present talent, they may have the most wanted D-man in the league in Noah Dobson. This will require close monitoring as the trade window opens within the next weeks.

 

 

 

Here’s a look at the October 24th Kia CHL Top 10:

Rank:

Team:

Last Week Rank:

Number of Weeks Ranked:

1

Prince Albert Raiders (13-1-0-0)

1

4

2

Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (11-2-0-0)

2

3

3

Halifax Mooseheads (11-3-0-0)

3

6

4

Ottawa 67’s (10-3-1-0)

8

3

5

Vancouver Giants (10-2-2-0)

6

4

6

Baie-Comeau Drakkar (9-3-0-1)

7

4

7

Victoria Royals (8-3-0-0)

4

3

8

Mississauga Steelheads (8-3-1-0)

1

9

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (8-3-2-0)

1

10

Moncton Wildcats (8-3-2-0)

1

 

 

 

For future analysis from the QMHJL as well as the Montreal Canadiens’ prospects, follow me on tweeter @SinclairCarl