Nathan Beaulieu | Saint John Sea Dogs| LD | 1992-12-05 | 6.03 | 191lbs
When Nathan was drafted by the Sea Dogs two years ago, his father Jacques was the head coach. Jacques has since been fired but Nathan has not let that affect his mind or his play. Beaulieu has since developed into a very strong all around defenseman. If you had to classify him he would be more of an offensive defenseman who has good skill and size. He had a difficult start to the season with only 1 assist and a -4 in his first 8 games. He got the spark he needed when his defensive partner Simon Despres returned from NHL training camp. During that first game Nathan got 1 goal and 2 assist along with a +4. On the year he now has 2 goals 8 assists and a +7. The + 7 may not seem like a big number but it’s impressive when you consider he’s constantly playing against the opponent’s top players. This is also part of the reason his offensive numbers aren’t what you would expect from an offensive defenseman. Nathan definitely has the potential to be drafted in the first round.
Jonathan Huberdeau | Saint John Sea Dogs | LC | 1993-06-04 | 6.01 | 165lbs
Jonathan is listed as a center but has been pushed to the wing so far this season. Playing on the wing has allowed him to concentrate a little bit more on offense and he has produced. Last season he led all 16 year olds in scoring with 15 goals and 20 assists. He also went 6 for 6 in shootout attempts. Despite being only 17 years of age he leads the Sea Dogs in goals and points (13-11-24). He also leads the team with a +22 rating and despite spending the most time in the penalty box (27 PIM) he leads the team with 2 shorthanded goals and has yet to shoot in a shootout. He does have plenty of room for improvement like his faceoffs (40%) and his speed. Much like most young players he will need to work on his defensive game and at only 165 pounds he has plenty of room to fill out his 6’1” frame.
Tomas Jurco | Saint John Sea Dogs | RW (LS) | 1992-12-28 | 6.02 | 190lbs
Tomas was drafted 4th overall in the 2009 CHL Import Draft and it’s no wonder why. Type in Tomas Jurco on Youtube and you will not have a shortage of videos. Jurco is known for his dazzling skill and some scouts say that on pure skill alone he’s one of the most talented prospects in the draft. If Tomas was born 4 days later he would be considered a 17 year old in the QMJHL and that would have the Sea Dogs even more excited about this young Slovakian skilled sniper. As a soon to be 18 year old, Tomas is having a solid season in the Q. He started off the season with 5 goals in his first two games but has only 6 goals in 17 games since. He’s a solid +13 and very disciplined with only 2 PIM. If the NHL draft were to happen today he would go in the middle of first round. He Tomas can continue improving his defensive play and tweak other parts of his game he could move up the board. He could use the experience of playing at the WJHC but Slovakia has been known to blackmail or snub their players currently playing outside the country so it is unclear if he will be invited to participate.
Xavier Ouellet | Montreal Juniors | LD | 1993-07-29 | 6.01 | 177lbs
Xavier is another current QMJHL player who had his mind set on the NCAA route but was able to be convinced to stay close to home and play in the CHL. Xavier is now having a great start to his sophomore season. He is tied for the league lead in points amongst defensemen with 18 points (2-16-18) in 17 games. He also leads his team in +/- with a +10. Also keep in mind he’s only 17 years of age. What’s scary about Xavier’s offensive explosion is that he’s not an offensive defenseman. He’s known for being very good in his own zone and possesses great poise with the puck in his own zone making the smart play whether it’s a chip off the glass or a pass to an open teammate. Most people don’t have him on their top 50 or top 100 watch list but I would not be surprised to see him drafted late in the first round or early in the second round.
Zack Phillips | Saint John Sea Dogs | RW | 1992-10-28 | 6.00 | 180lbs
Originally committed to going to NCAA route, Zack’s mind changed when the MAINEiacs traded his QMJHL rights to the Saint John Sea Dogs. The Sea Dogs were able to convince him last year that playing in Saint John would be best for him and his parents did not object as is now closer to home as his hometown is only an hour away. Zack is listed as a right winger however he’s a natural center and has spent most of his time this season centering the top line in Saint John. Last season he was moved to wing due to depth. So far this season he’s had quite a bit of trouble with faceoffs winning only 39% of his faceoffs. His faceoff ability or lack thereof won’t stop him from being drafted very early in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft as he possesses great skill along with great work ethic, a nose for the net and a quick release. He will need to gain an extra step if he hopes to translate his game to the next level.
Yannick Veilleux | Shawinigan Cataractes | LW | 1993-02-22 | 6.02 | 190lbs
Yannick is a power forward that can put the puck in the net. There is no lack of size for a 17 year old and he gives it his all every game never shying away from a check. For a player of his style he’s fairly disciplined with only 10 PIM to date this season. Last season he had only 3 goals and 6 assists in 55 games. He already has more than double that this season with 8 goals 10 assists and a +9 rating. Yannick has had an increase in responsibility and has responded in a great way. If he can continue his strong season it will not be a surprise to see him go in the first few rounds.