Blizzard staff report satisfaction with 2019 draft

EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick — Edmundston Blizzard’s general staff can say “mission accomplished” following the organization of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League (MHL) 25th Entry Draft held on Saturday, June 15, at the Jean-Daigle Centre.

“Everything went smoothly,” said Blizzard President André Lebel. “Delegates from the 12 teams really appreciated our facilities and the fluidity with which the draft session took place. As for the posting of the results of the selections, the statistician of the league indicated that everything had worked perfectly, which is very important for the people who watched the progress from the website of the MHL. We can say mission accomplished. Thank you to our team of volunteers who helped to make this very important event for the league a success. Certainly, we have set the bar high for the next draft. Our league deserves it, after all. “

On the hockey side, Blizzard general manager Steve MacPherson was visibly pleased with his team’s picks. Before the draft began, MHL president Steve Dykeman announced a number of transactions, including the largest involving Blizzard and Pictou County Weeks Crushers. The Blizzard gave up forwards Maxime Grandmaison and Samuel Leblanc as well as its first round pick in 2019 and its sixth choice in 2020 in return for Isaac Chapman (forward), Chad Wilson (forward and defenseman), and Pictou County’s first choice picks of 2019 and 2020.

“We are very happy with the deal,” said MacPherson at the conclusion of the entry draft. Chapman is a good size player (6’0 ” and 200 lbs) and he already has some friends on the Blizzard team. The trade also allowed us to pick earlier in the first round (5th overall) and we are happy to have been able to get Mitchell McLeod, who will probably be part of the Blizzard starting lineup in September. McLeod is a good friend of Aaron Brown as both have played with McDonald’s Halifax in the 2017-2018 season in the Nova Scotia Midget League.

The GM also had good words for defenseman Jonathan Desrosiers of Dieppe (2nd round pick, 20th overall), a product of the Moncton Flyers that he described very reliable. During the QMJHL entry draft on June 8, Desrosiers was selected in the 9th round (154th overall) by the Moncton Wildcats.

MacPherson is also impressed by goalkeeper Nicholas Sheehan of Moncton, drafted in the third round. Sheehan also belongs to the Moncton Wildcats who selected him in the 6th round (91st overall) at the las QMJHL auction.

Blizzard fans will no doubt be pleased with the formal acquisition of forward Ben Lightbody, who made great impression late last season in Edmundston with four goals in three games. Blizzard picked Lightbody during the second territorial choice round.

The public was invited to attend the entry draft. More than 200 people witnessed the event.

A few days before the entry draft, the teams made the selection of some territorial players. Thus, the Blizzard chose forward Josh Nadeau of Saint-François-de-Madawaska.

Here are the 12 players selected by the Blizzard on Saturday with the midget stats in 2018-19.

1st round

– Mitchell McLeod, forward, born in 2002, from Timberlea, NS (36gp, 18g, 14a, 32pts) 

2e round 

– Jonathan Desrosiers, defenseman, born in 2003, from Dieppe, N.B. (33gp, 3g, 8a, 11pts) 

– Joey Merriam, forward, born in 2003, from Milford, N.S. (34gp, 4g, 10a, 14pts) 

Territorial choice 1

– Josh Nadeau, forward, born in 2003, from Saint-François-de-Madawaska, N.B. (32gp, 21g, 19a, 40pts)

3e round 

– Nicholas Sheehan, goalkeeper, born in 2003, from Moncton, N.-B. (13gp; 3.21; .889) 

– Jack Dickie, defenseman, born in 2003, from Rothesay, N.B. (28gp, 3g, 15a, 18pts) 

Territorial choice 2

– Ben Lightbody, froward, born in 2002, from Fredericton, N.B. (32gp, 8g, 10a, 18pts)

4e round 

– Alexis Daniel, foward, born in 2003, from Dieppe, N.B. (17gp, 9g, 8a, 17pts) 

– Tristan Sanchez, forward, born in 2003, from Moncton, N.B. (35gp, 6g, 3a, 9pts) 

6e round

– Alex MacKinnon, defenseman, born in 2003 (33gp; 2g, 12a, 14pts)

7e round 

– Jacob Duguay, forward, born in 2003, from Tracadie, N.-B. (9gp, 0g, 0a, 0pt) 

8e tour 

– Frederik Caissie, forward, born in 2003, from Cocagne, N.B. (9gp, 0g, 1a, 1pt) 

The 2020 Annual General Meeting and MHL Entry Draft will be held in Truro, Nova Scotia.

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