The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) held its annual draft and American draft over the course of the last three days.
Junior-eligible players born in 2003 or before from any of the six New England states were able to be selected in either draft. Six New England players were drafted in Saturday’s proceedings while two rounds worth of players were selected in Monday’s draft where only Americans could be taken.
As college hockey has continued to become a more viable developmental path to the NHL, the QMJHL has struggled to get New England players into the major junior league. However, a Bruins’ playoff star, Charlie Coyle (Weymouth, Mass.), is an exception. He played for the Saint John Sea Dogs after leaving Boston University. Florida Panthers star Keith Yandle and Arizona Coyotes rookie Connor Garland are other somewhat recent examples of players leaving New England for the QMJHL.
The first American taken in the 2019 QMJHL Draft was Thayer Academy left wing and Boston University commit Nick Roukounakis of Pembroke, Mass. The USA Hockey NTDP Evaluation Camp attendee was taken in the 10th round with the 164th overall pick by the Saint John Sea Dogs, the most active organization when it came to selecting Americans.