Islanders will be looking for best players at Q draft
Jason Malloy, Published on June 8, 2013
The Charlottetown Islanders won’t draft for need in today’s Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft, says the new general manager.
“I personally believe we have to take the best available players,” Grant Sonier told The Guardian before leaving for Chicoutimi.
The draft starts at 11 a.m. ADT.
The Islanders’ first pick is 13th overall, but Sonier said they are prepared to move up, or back, for the right offer or stay put and select a player.
The team left Charlottetown without second-, fourth- or sixth-round picks, but had two in the eighth round.
“I’d like to especially get a second-round pick,” Sonier said.
He was able to acquire a fourth-rounder, 69th overall, Friday from Victoriaville to complete an earlier trade that sends the Islanders’ 24th overall pick in the Euro draft to the Tigres.
Charlottetown still has two picks in the Euro draft.
Sonier said chief scout Gilles Tremblay and the rest of the staff, including coach Gordie Dwyer and vice-president of operation Trent Birt, will guide the team through today’s draft. Sonier, who has been as an assistant general manager in the NHL, will bring experience to the table.
He said the staff is organized and prepared. One area the new GM has identified as lacking is centres.
“We need to build down the middle,” he said.
He said Yan-Pavel Laplante and Alexis Pépin, who both played centre at times last year, are wingers, who may get a look at playing centre this season. The team likes what they saw in Deverick Ottereyes and Nathan Yetman, but are not sure they are top-six forwards at this point in their careers.
“The draft is separate from what we need for this coming year,” Sonier said. “The draft is going to help us to get depth in the areas we need.”
The new general manager is all ears when it comes to potential moves, but won’t be fleeced.
“If we move good players, we have to get good picks and we have to get good players in return,” he said.
Asked if there were players who were untouchable, Sonier didn’t hesitate, responding, “Wayne Gretzky got traded.”
He quickly added he’s not pedalling players like Laplante and Pépin, long mentioned as the building blocks for the future by the previous administration.
With the 13th over all pick in this years QMJHL Draft the Charlottetown Islanders picked Daniel Sprong.
Here's how he is described by scouts: Daniel Sprong of Lac St. Louis. Elite puckhandler with good hands, good release. Willy Palov Tweeted: @CH_WillyPalov: The Daniel Sprong pick by Charlottetown at No. 13 could be a steal.
Islanders trade Marcotte and a 7th Rounder to Val Dor for the 19th over all pick. Gives Isles two picks in the first round. Charlottetown then picks C Alex Goulet of Levis. Good speed, shot and puck control.