Nova Scotia appears poised to bounce back from a down year at the QMJHL draft.

After only one Bluenoser went in the first three rounds last year in Moncton, the province could be celebrating a first-round bonanza after the annual event in Drummondville, Que., on Saturday.

Central Scouting ranks four Nova Scotians in the first round, led by sixth-ranked Halifax native Taylor Burke, a forward with the Cole Harbour major midgets.

Three are in the top 10 and at least two could sneak into the top five. Nine are ranked in the top three rounds.

“This year, it’s obvious there will be more Nova Scotians in the mix, especially in the first few rounds, than there were last year,” said Mooseheads chief Atlantic scout Allie MacDonald.

“It comes in cycles.”

Since the province’s natural hat trick of No. 1 overall picks — Sidney Crosby, James Sheppard and Alex Grant from 2003 to 2005 — only Ben Duffy (fifth in 2008 to the P.E.I. Rocket) has cracked the top 10.

Nova Scotia also tied a record low last year with just 19 players selected. The mark was first set in 2001.

The record for most Bluenosers picked is 32 set in 2005.

“It comes and goes,” said Mooseheads general manager Cam Russell.

“Some years, you have a group of good guys, other years, you have a thin crop. This is just one of those years you have some good hockey players out there.”

Russell said the draft is fairly deep in talent overall — not just in Nova Scotia — which is a good thing because the Mooseheads have four picks between Nos. 19 and 37.

Numbers

Nova Scotians selected in the QMJHL draft:
2009 — 19
2008 — 21
2007 — 24
2006 — 28
2005 — 32
2004 — 23
2003 — 24
2002 — 20
2001 — 19
2000 — 20
1999 — 20
1998 — 22
1997 — 23
1996 — 20
1995 — 27