This is perhaps a good thing that Gilles Courteau was not ready inside the First Niagara Center Saturday for allegedly it was probably difficult to hide his moods before the scenario that would parade behind him.
Twenty-four hours after the end of the session for selecting the National Hockey League, the Commissioner of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League was still shaken by the poor harvest of 14 players from his circuit, Friday and Saturday.
“Even though we knew we would have a difficult year, I was very surprised and disappointed to see that only 14 of our players have been selected. Personally, I was expecting a score, Courteau said in an interview with The Canadian Press on Sunday afternoon.
“I’m disappointed for the players that have not been claimed and which should have been, and who were invited to professionals camps immediately after the draft.”
After a spectacular start repechage Friday as Pierre-Luc Dubois managed to sneak in the third level of the initial round, between the Finns Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi, the QMJHL will finally had a disastrous weekend.
By comparison, 30 formations of 48 NHL drafted players from the Ontario Hockey League, and 34 of the WHL.
Nashville Predators and Columbus Blue Jackets were most attracted to the hopes of the QMJHL, claiming two each. The Montreal Canadiens and five other Canadian teams have neglected the QMJHL, the exception being the Winnipeg Jets.
Back to the 80s
In the annals of the league, the worst year was the first, in 1970, while 13 players were claimed on a total of 116, for a proportion of 11.2 percent. In comparison, the 2016 vintage represents only 6.6 percent of the 211 players selected in Buffalo.
This figure brings the league to its lean times of the 80 During a period of nine years between 1982 and 1990, the QMJHL had not crossed the plateau of seven percent of the players chosen in six of between them.
Furthermore, of the 14 players selected, only eight are from Quebec. Three are from the Atlantic provinces and three from Europe.
“I am very happy with the work that our general managers and coaches, wanted to declare the commissioner. How to develop players is good. You just keep working on it and use that bad year to roll up their sleeves. ”
All is not necessarily lost for the “forgotten” in the QMJHL, as many might receive invitations to professional camps. In fact, some invitations were issued shortly after the end of the session, a situation that seems to leave a little confused Courteau.
“I find it ironic that the players who were eligible have received invitations to training camps in the hour following the end of the draft,” dropped Courteau.
After completing his Saturday work, the hiring manager at the Canadian, Trevor Timmins spoke cyclical phenomenon to explain the situation. It is an opinion shared by Gilles Côté, recruiter at the San Jose Sharks.
“These are cycles, it comes like that and we can do anything. There are years when it’s good. The average is probably 22 or 25 per year, he notes.
“It’s disappointing for the league because I think it is a good league. But I do not think it’s that bad. It will come, “says Côté.
After a batch of 30 players in 2015, the veteran recruiter expected a difficult year for the hopes of the QMJHL in 2016.
“I think this is something that was identified by most recruiters. From the holiday season, and even before it was known in Quebec, it would be one of the worst years. By cons, there were good players, but the number was small. If you talk to other recruiters in the National League, you get the same result, “said Côté, who expects a better year in 2017, at least in number for the QMJHL.
Side, moreover, does not consider it ironic that invitations be sent to the players after the draft.
“This is a normal situation. When I meet a player, I always tell her it does not matter. Whether you drafted in the 3rd round, the seventh round or you’re invited, when you get to camp, this is exactly the same. Coaches do not know you, and it’s open to everyone. ”