Like the NHL, it is not uncommon for there to be a flurry of trades surrounding the draft in the juniors as well. At the junior level though, “flurry” takes on a whole new meaning. The Quebec Junior Hockey League held their entry draft yesterday, with the 14-round event taking up most of the day. The teams’ management staffs were not only busy making picks, but also making trades. There have been 48 trades made in the QMJHL over the past two days alone. While many of those are simply a swap of draft pick packages or including low-end players, there have also been a handful for NHL fans to take note of:
- The Drummondville Voltigeurs paid a heavy price for Anaheim prospect Maxime Comtois. The Ducks’ second-round pick at 50th overall last year was traded by the Victoriaville Tigres for first- and second-round picks in this year’s draft, including the 14th overall pick, and another pair of first- and second-round picks next year. Comtois scored 85 points in 54 games this season and Drummondville is banking on him repeating that production next season. The Voltigeurs better hope that Comtois doesn’t break camp with Anaheim instead.
- Another Ducks prospect, Antoine Morand, who was drafted just ten spots behind Comtois last year, was also dealt in another blockbuster. The QMJHL and Memorial Cup champion Acadie-Bathurst Titan traded Moran and teammate Jordan Maher, an overage player eligible for the 2018 NHL Draft, to the Halifax Mooseheads for a first- and third-round pick this year and another pair of future first- and third-rounders. Morand led the Titan in scoring last year and he and Maher combined for 137 points on the season. Halifax is certainly loading up with the acquisition of the duo.
- Center Cedric Pare, a sixth-round selection of the Boston Bruins last year, fetched a hefty return of his own. The two-way forward earned the Saint John Sea Dogs a first-rounder, 15th overall, and fourth-rounder this year from Rimouski Oceanic. Pare scored only 37 points in 60 games this year but brings strong intangibles to his game. In Rimouski, Pare will get to play the defensively responsible role across from 16-year-old phenom Alexis Lafreniere’s dynamic offensive game.
- Mitchell Balmas will again be eligible for selection in the NHL Draft for the third and final time this year and if his trade value at the junior level is any indication, someone will take a flier on him in the later rounds. The overage forward was another player shipped away by the Titan, who appear to be content with rebuilding following their title run. Acadie-Bathhurst acquired Balmas mid-season only to trade him yesterday for the 9th overall pick in the first round, the 36th overall pick in the second round, and young defenseman Ryan MacLellan. Balmas was a point-per-game player for two different teams this season and his new squad, the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, hopes that trend continues next season.