With two choices in the first round of the 2017 QMJHL Draft, Phoenix took the opportunity to add quality elements to its membership. The Birds left the Maritimes with 13 new hockey players, many of whom have the chance to settle in the Estrie region next season.
Sherbrooke made use of the second overall choice in total to add a new member to their family, in every sense of the word. Invited by the team to get on the podium, Nicolas Poulin welcomed his younger brother Samuel by handing him the blue and beige sweater.
“It’s a great day for our family. We were well aware that the probabilities were extremely high that it happened but it was still a great relief to hear the confirmation. When I arrived in front of Nic on the podium, I was so excited! I know very well that it’s a totally unique moment, and I really enjoyed that Phoenix attention, “said the talented striker.
Samuel will arrive at the camp in known terrain, he who will also join his godfather Jocelyn Thibault. Despite the ties that bind him to the organization, he does not expect any special treatment.
“It will be easier to adapt, but the QMJHL is a serious league and I will have to work to win the trust of everyone. It’s definitely trivial , but I want to live my own experiences in Sherbrooke, “he reassured.
Protocol obliges, the Birds received in interview the former Vikings of Saint-Eustache Friday. Samuel Poulin’s words, this interview has not exhausted him!
“I knew a few people so let’s say it was pretty cool to me! I was really not stressed, unlike other encounters, ”
A few moments later, the Phoenix put the Harbor Station on the end of its seat, demanding a pause before the eleventh selection. The club finally retained its choice to focus on Bailey Peach, a fast forward from Sidney Crosby’s hometown of Cole Harbor in Nova Scotia.
“I am a very fast forward who has a nose for the opponent’s net. I am a good scorer, especially because of my ability to quickly react and play several positions. I like to compare myself to Dylan Larkin of the Red Wings for these reasons, “said the top scorer of the last Gatorade Challenge.
Bailey joins a good friend in Sherbrooke, Evan MacKinnon. The former Huskies greatly boasted the area and organization, which convinced him to add the Birds to a short list of teams for which he would accept to wear the skates.
“Macky told me he loved the city and that the Phoenix was headed for something very exciting. I would have been comfortable playing for a few Maritime teams, but very few educational options in Quebec offered me an environment as complete as Sherbrooke. Language is also important, and there are well-known English schools out there, “says Peach.
Fitzpatrick and Cregan
With two 19-year-old goalkeepers in his ranks, the Phoenix made use of the 39th choice on a goalkeeper, Thommy Monette to prepare for the next generation. The voluptuous young man will arrive at the camp with the objective of making a position quickly in the QMJHL thanks to his ability to shine at important moments.
“I am a goalkeeper who is at its best when the stakes are even higher. I am a fighter and I often make quite spectacular stops! I also have a good gauge so I take a lot of space in my net, without compromising the precision of my movements and my speed of execution, “illustrates the one who has as model Carey Price.
Then in the seventh round, it was Thomas Sigouin who turned the Phoenix. This guardian may be smaller in size, but there is no lack of determination.
“I am a passionate and proud competitor. I always work harder than others, I challenge myself and I leave nothing to discourage me. No matter how many guards in the camp, I will be there with the goal of forcing a hand in order to make a place for me soon, “he describes.
From reinforcement to the blue line
Defenders Alexandre Joncas (57th choice) and Jonathan Prévost (101st choice) will add depth to the Sherbrooke blue line for the next few years. At the 125th pick, Peach’s friend, Hunter Martin, went to the Birds table .
Joncas describes himself as a versatile defender. Filed a little further according to the list of the power station, he sees Thibault’s decision to choose him earlier as excellent news.
“It proves they have confidence in me! I can both take a physical game and contribute 200 feet. I have a good vision of the game, but I want to improve my skate and get used to throwing more often in the net, “he believes.
As for Prevost, his selection by the Phoenix was the best possible outcome. He had the firm impression that if the chance presented itself to the team to rescue him, it would not hesitate to capitalize.
“I’ve been thinking about this draft since the start of the last season. From my first meeting with Jean Gagnon, I knew that this team would be perfect for me. My teammate Nathaël Roy also belongs to the Phoenix so it will be nice to meet in the camp.
Hunter Martin comes out of a very different mold than the other defenders chosen. He does not hesitate to jostle and tackle when the opportunity arises, and knows how to use his template to complete games. He knows however that this style of play comes with risks, and he must learn to better manage them.
“I have to learn how to better position myself in my area, and avoid being surprised by missing a check, for example”, summarizes the fellow of 6’02 “.
Forward Jérémie Rainville (R9 – # 146) and Samuel Grégoire (R10 – # 181) of the Cantoniers de Magog will meet at the Phoenix camp, while defenders Christophe Morissette (R9 – # 147, Collège Claretain) and Marc – Antoine Pépin (R10 – # 175, Collège Marie-de-l’Incarnation) were also called to the table of the Phoenix.
As for the American players, we will try to convince the center Ian Carpentier (R13 – # 219, Boston Bruins U16) and defender Linden Alger (R14 – # 237, Boston Bandits U16) to cross the border. Jocelyn Thibault said that the first contacts with these players will take place in the coming weeks.