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2019-20 CHL Season Preview Series: QMJHL’s West Division

 

Day 3 of a 12-day coast-to-coast series previewing the 2019-20 Canadian Hockey League season features the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s West Division:

Blainville-Boisbriand Armada

Last 5 Years

2014-15: 41-18-7-2, 91 Points (1st in West Division)
2015-16: 26-32-8-2, 60 Points (4th in West Division) ▼
2016-17: 43-19-4-2, 92 Points (2nd in West Division) ▲
2017-18: 50-11-4-3, 107 Points (1st in West Division) ▲
2018-19: 26-40-2-0, 54 Points (3rd in West Division) ▼

Best Playoff Result: 2018 – Lost 4-2 vs. Acadie-Bathurst in President’s Cup Final

Need to Know

Head Coach: Bruce Richardson, 2nd Season
2019 QMJHL Entry Draft (Top Pick): 2/23 (C) Anthony Bedard (Les Estacades de Trois-Rivieres)
2019 CHL Import Draft (Top Pick): 1/15 (C) Maxim Bykov (Kazan Irbis)
2018-19 Notable Graduates: (G) Brendan Cregan, (LW) Tyler Hylland, (RW) Alexander Katerinakis
NHL Prospects: (D) Samuel Bolduc (N.Y. Islanders, 2/57, 2019), (C) Luke Henman (Carolina, 4/96, 2018)

Players to Watch

Returning Leader: (D) Samuel Bolduc
On the Horizon: (D) Miguel Tourigny

Samuel Bolduc was a top performer for Blainville-Boisbriand last season, leading all defencemen in points while finishing fourth in team scoring with nine goals and 28 assists, ultimately leading to his second-round selection by the New York Islanders. This season, Bolduc is sure to lend an ear to 2020 NHL Draft eligible blue-liner Miguel Tourigny, who spent part of last year with the midget Trois-Rivieres Estacades before appearing in 29 regular-season contests with the Armada.

Gatineau Olympiques

Last 5 Years

2014-15: 31-31-0-6, 68 Points (5th in West Division)
2015-16: 46-19-2-1, 95 Points (3rd in West Division) ▲
2016-17: 33-31-4-0, 70 Points (3rd in West Division) ▼
2017-18: 32-27-5-4, 73 Points (5th in West Division) ▲
2018-19: 23-39-4-2, 52 Points (4th in West Division) ▼

Best Playoff Result: 2016 – Lost 4-2 vs. Moncton in Round 2

Need to Know

Head Coach: Eric Landry, 4th Season
2019 QMJHL Entry Draft (Top Pick): 1/4 (C) Zachary Dean (Toronto Nationals MMAAA)
2019 CHL Import Draft (Top Pick): 1/12 (D) Yevgeni Kashnikov (Moscow CSKA U18)
2018-19 Notable Graduates: (D) Gabriel Bilodeau, (C) Giordano Finoro
NHL Prospects: N/A

Players to Watch

Returning Leader: (LW) Metis Roelens
On the Horizon: (RW) Pier-Olivier Roy

Belgian-born Metis Roelens will look to lead the offensive charge for the Olympiques this season following the departure of last year’s top two scorers. Fortunately, the budding talent has already shown a keen ability to put the puck in the net, as evidenced by his 29-point improvement last season that saw him finish third in team scoring with 18 goals and 26 assists. Also chipping in offensively will be 17-year-old winger Pier-Olivier Roy, who after putting up 26 points as a freshman expects his name to be called at the 2020 NHL Draft.

Rouyn-Noranda Huskies

Last 5 Years

2014-15: 33-30-4-1, 71 Points (4th in West Division)
2015-16: 54-9-3-2, 113 Points (1st in West Division) ▲
2016-17: 43-18-0-2, 93 Points (1st in West Division) ▼
2017-18: 39-19-7-3, 88 Points (3rd in West Division) ▼
2018-19: 59-8-8-1, 119 Points (1st in West Division) ▲

Best Playoff Result: 2019 – Won 4-2 vs. Halifax in President’s Cup Final; Defeated Halifax to win 2019 Memorial Cup

Need to Know

Head Coach: Mario Pouliot, 2nd Season
2019 QMJHL Entry Draft (Top Pick): 3/39 (D) Jacob Squires (Charlottetown Pride MAAA)
2019 CHL Import Draft (Top Pick): 1/54 (C) Oleksii Myklukha (EC Red Bull Akademie U20)
2018-19 Notable Graduates: (C) Peter Abbandonato, (G) Samuel Harvey, (D) Jacob Neveu, (LW) Joel Teasdale (Montreal)
NHL Prospects: (RW) Alex Beaucage (Colorado, 3/78, 2019), (D) Noah Dobson (N.Y. Islanders, 1/12, 2018), (G) Zachary Emond (San Jose, 6/176, 2018)

Players to Watch

Returning Leader: (RW) Alex Beaucage
On the Horizon: (D) Justin Bergeron

The Huskies will have a younger look in 2019-20 after a veteran group led the squad to CHL supremacy last season. Leading the charge will be returning winger and Colorado Avalanche prospect Alex Beaucage, a key piece in capturing the 2019 Memorial Cup. On the back end, offensive blue-liner Justin Bergeron hopes to intrigue talent evaluators after being passed up in the last two drafts. Across 65 appearances last season, the 18-year-old tallied 57 points to finish third in scoring among all league defencemen.

Val-d’Or Foreurs

Last 5 Years

2014-15: 35-25-3-5, 78 Points (2nd in West Division)
2015-16: 49-15-3-1, 102 Points (2nd in West Division) ▲
2016-17: 28-35-3-2, 61 Points (5th in West Division) ▼
2017-18: 19-42-5-2, 45 Points (6th in West Division) ▼
2018-19: 25-36-4-3, 57 Points (2nd in West Division) ▲

Best Playoff Result: 2015 – Lost 4-0 vs. Rimouski in Round 3

Need to Know

Head Coach: Pascal Rheaume, 2nd Season
2019 QMJHL Entry Draft (Top Pick): 1/2 (C) Justin Robidas (Les Cantonniers de Magog)
2019 CHL Import Draft (Top Pick): 1/18 (C) Rudolfs Polcs (Riga SK Riga)
2018-19 Notable Graduates: (D) Felix Boivin, (RW) Yan Dion, (C) Julien Tessier
NHL Prospects: (D) Maxence Guenette (Ottawa, 7/187, 2019), (RW) Jeremy Michel (St. Louis, 7/217, 2019)

Players to Watch

Returning Leader: (D) Maxence Guenette
On the Horizon: (D) Jeremie Biakabutuka

Following the departure of the team’s top two scorers from last season, the club will turn over the keys to younger talents in 2019-20, including 18-year-old rearguard Maxence Guenette, an Ottawa Senators prospect whose 32 points last year finished second among Foreurs defencemen. Also on the back end, expect the the scouting community to take in Val-d’Or games to set their sights on Jeremie Biakabutuka, a 2020 NHL Draft prospect who put up 14 points as a freshman.

Last 5 Years: QMJHL’s West Division

graph_q_west

2019-20 CHL Season Preview Series

Day 1 – WHL’s B.C. Division
Day 2 – OHL’s Central Division

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