QMJHL experts select the cream of the crop: Day Two - Metro US

QMJHL experts select the cream of the crop: Day Two

Metro Halifax has determined the best and worst of the QMJHL’s Atlantic Division in 36 categories, and will release 12 categories per day in a three-part series this week.

Today is our second instalment. Click here for yesterday’s results.

We polled the hockey operations staffs for all six teams in the division to determine the results, awarding three points to category winners and one point to runners-up.

To eliminate bias, participants polled were not permitted to vote for players on their own teams.

Most Improved

Michael Kirkpatrick, Saint John

The former Dartmouth Subways star forward has nearly tripled his point total and could finish with close to 40 goals. He’s become one of Saint John’s cornerstones for the future.

RUNNER-UP (tie): David Savard (Moncton), Nicolas Chouinard (Cape Breton).

Best Penalty Killer

Michael Kirkpatrick, Saint John; and Nicola Riopel, Moncton

Kirkpatrick has terrific anticipation and a quick stick; Riopel’s goaltending denies sure scoring chances.

RUNNER-UP: Zach Sill (Moncton).

Best Faceoff Man

Joel Champagne, P.E.I.

The Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick has won more than 61 per cent of his draws.

RUNNER-UP (tie): Eric Faille (Bathurst), Michael Kirkpatrick (Saint John), Robert Slaney (Cape Breton).

Best Referee

Guy Pellerin

Just when you thought teams had nothing good to say about refs.

RUNNER-UP: Jean Hebert.

Worst Referee

Jon Langille and Brad Mills

Fortunately for these two, refereeing isn’t a popularity contest.

RUNNER-UP: Thayer Doyle.

Most Underrated

Spencer Jezegou, Bathurst

He doesn’t get much attention, but the 20-year-old is quietly Bathurst’s best player and leader.

RUNNER-UP: Three-way tie.

Best in Goal Area

Scott Brannon, Moncton

The Churchville, Pictou Co., native is the Atlantic’s “Cy Young” winner, with twice as many goals as assists.

RUNNER-UP: Five-way tie.

Best Power Forward

Robert Slaney, Cape Breton

The 6-foot-2, 204-pounder blends skill and brawn and can go through you or around you to score.

RUNNER-UP (tie): Joey Haddad (Cape Breton), Scott Brannon (Moncton).

Best Coach

Danny Flynn, Moncton

The Dartmouth native is a former NHL assistant and has helped the Wildcats exceed pre-season expectations.

RUNNER-UP: Mario Durocher (Cape Breton).

Best General Manager

Danny Flynn, Moncton

Moncton was still digging out from a Memorial Cup when Flynn took over. His shrewd moves turned them around in a year.

Sylvain Couturier (Bathurst).

Best on Breakaways

Chris Culligan, Cape Breton

He’s the last guy teams want to face in shootouts, with his deadly combination of skills and smarts.

RUNNER-UP: Robert Slaney (Cape Breton).

Best Captain

Chris Culligan, Cape Breton

Yet another great Eagles captain, Culligan is filling the skates of Dean Ouellet and James Sheppard just fine.

RUNNER-UP: Matt Eagles (Moncton).

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