Combined there aren’t nearly as many kids from the other two CHL leagues than there are from the OHL, however there are a few really good picks here. Development camp starts today with off-ice dealings, so let’s take a look at the skaters from the dub and the Q that are filling the Mastercard Centre today.
Martins Dzierkals - F - Rouyn-Noranda Huskies - Drafted 2015 68th overall
2016/17 Stats: 47GP - 21G - 28A - 49Pts
Dzierkals was battling through an injury filled season for him with the Huskies. The defending QMJHL champions didn’t make a huge impact in the playoffs this year and fatigue and injury were factors. Dzierkals will be playing to keep the attention of the decision makers. Without a contract he’s heading for an overage season in the QMJHL. He was drafted out of Latvia, so Leafs have some extra time to think about him before his rights are gone.
Adam Brooks - F - Regina Pats - Drafted 2016 92nd overall
2016/17 Stats: 66GP - 43G - 87A - 130Pts
The Regina Pats captain was having an excellent season until the injury bug hit him in the playoffs and he missed almost a round and a half of ice time. Knocked out (literally) of the WHL Finals, his absence may have cost the Pats the WHL Championship in his final year in junior. He’s signed now so he’s most likely heading to the Marlies.
Connor Dewar - F - Everett Silvertips - Invite
2016/17 Stats: 71GP - 14G - 16A - 30Pts
A centre who’s not an offensive star but was willing to dig in corners and stand his ground, he’s here because the Leafs have needs at that position and they’re taking a look at all of their options.
Ethan McIndoe - F - Spokane Chiefs
2016/17 Stats: 67GP - 17G - 9A - 26Pts
A bottom six forward for Spokan last season, McIndoe is a hard fore-checking player who will do anything to get a goal. He has said “it’s not how you scorer but how many”. Smaller for his playing style, he’ll need to bulk up to get noticed and play the top six role he’ll be looked upon to play next season.
Jonathan Smart - D - Kelowna Rockets / Regina Pats
2016/17 Stats: 67GP - 2G - 19A - 21Pts
Our first defenceman from out west, Smart is a dependable defensive defenceman who was sought after at the WHL trade deadline and ended up with the WHL runner-up Regina Pats. He has an offensive game that needs to come out and be used more, and next season he’ll get that opportunity as the Pats host the 100th Memorial Cup tournament.
Vladislav Yeryomenko - D - Calgary Hitmen
2016/17 Stats: 62GP - 6G - 19A - 25Pts
Scoring 25 points from the blueline in a season that’s transitioning from European junior leagues to the WHL is impressive, and Yeryomenko did very well for himself his first year in Calgary.
Marc-Olivier Duquette - D - Drummondville Voltigeurs
2016/17 Stats: 68GP - 4G - 21A - 25Pts
Duquette took three seasons to finally stick in the QMJHL, playing a handful of games the two previous seasons with Gatineau, he made it full time in Drummondville last year and was a solid defender for them. A development camp invite is probably the best he could have hoped for with his history, but getting a team to notice him was a big step. He’s one I’ll keep tabs on this upcoming season.
Development camp is a weird time, where there are players you’ll never hear from again, and are basically filler. That said things can get interesting, like at Habs camp yesterday when two invites fought at centre ice. Anyway to make a name for yourself.
Maple Leafs development camp runs Today until early next week at the Mastercard Centre for Hockey Excellence, which is located in the middle of goddamn nowhere transit wise so I’m not going. I don’t know if any of it is open to the public, last year in Niagara Falls only the final scrimmages were.