Scouts are already calling this weekend’s QMJHL draft a bad one. Nova Scotia, it appears, isn’t helping.
“If you do a curve of the draft the last number of years, it’s a low-end draft year, and if you followed Nova Scotia as a province, that curve drops even lower,” said one veteran scout.
“Why? I have no idea. But it is. Nova Scotia is always the Maritimes’ leader, but I’d say they’re not going to be this year.”
Central Scouting ranks just nine Nova Scotians in the draft’s first five rounds. Six are from the Halifax area. Metro Halifax breaks down Central Scouting’s favourites.
2-20. F COLE HAWES, Tangier (Dartmouth Subways). The five-foot-10 younger brother of former Q standout Tyler Hawes potted 21 goals in 35 games. “He works well in small areas,” said a scout. “He takes the puck to the net and scores goals.”
4-45. D IAN SAAB, Halifax (Halifax Lions). He’s a QMJHL-ready blue-liner who had 256 penalty minutes in 51 junior A games. “He’s a stay-at-home, physical defenceman who should be a No. 4 D in the Q,” said a scout.
4-63. F KODY ORR, Lower Sackville (Amherst Ramblers). He doesn’t produce much but doesn’t have to. Think former Moncton Wildcats captain Zach Sill. “He’s a future captain,” said one scout. Added another: “He’s an energy guy.”
4-69. G RICHARD TINGLEY, Halifax (Halifax McDonald’s). Tingley came on strong late in the season and had a 2.63 goals-against average in 17 starts. “He’s very athletic and he handles pressure situations well,” said a scout.
5-77. D BRENDAN DUKE, Cole Harbour (Cole Harbour McCain). Duke was a consistent two-way force for the provincial champs. “He could be a really good No. 3 or 4 defenceman,” said a scout. “All-around skill makes him special.”
5-81. F CODY PEVERIL, Lower Sackville (Dartmouth Subways). Produced 10 points in 22 games and quietly caught the eye of scouts with his strong hockey sense. “He’s got a great feel for the game and he kills penalties,” said a scout.