QMJHL Weekly: May 28th, 2012

Shawinigan Wins First Memorial Cup

For the first time in their 43 year history the Shawinigan Cataractes are the Memorial Cup champions.

The Cataractes are one of the founding teams in the QMJHL as they have been in the League since 1969.  They are the ninth host team to capture the tournament and the first to eliminate all three League champions in straight games.

Anton Zlobin scored both goals for the Cataractes including the overtime winner 17:51 into the extra stanza to give Shawinigan a 2-1 win over the London Knights.  Ryan Rupert added the Knights’ marker.

Earlier in the week on Monday the Saint John Sea Dogs skated to a 5-2 win over the Edmonton Oil Kings.  Zack Phillips scored twice; while Jonathan Huberdeau, Danick Gauthier, and Ryan Tesink added singles for the winners; while Stephane Legault and Kristians Pelss scored for the Oil Kings.

On Tuesday Austin Watson, Bo Horvat, Ryan Rupert, and Greg McKegg added the London offense in their 4-1 win over Edmonton.  Keegan Lowe scored for Edmonton.

On Wednesday Huberdeau scored twice; while Tesink and Stanislev Galiev added one each as Saint John skated to a 4-1 win over Shawinigan.  Zlobin added the Cataractes’ goal.

Shawinigan got goals from Morgan Ellis, Yannick Veilleux, Pierre-Olivier Morin, Kirill Kabanov, Michael Bournival, and Zlobin in their 6-1 win over Edmonton on Thursday.  Henrik Samuelsson scored for Edmonton.

On Friday the Cataractes made it to the final with a 7-4 win over defending champions Saint John.  Michael Chaput scored twice; while Veilleux, Brandon Gormley, Morin, Loik Poudrier, and Bournival added singles.  Tomas Jurco scored twice; while Phillips and Huberdeau added singles for the Sea Dogs.

Following Sunday’s game the awards were handed out.  The awards were selected by NHL Central Scouting.

Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy (Most Valuable Player) and Ed Chynoweth Trophy (Top Scorer)– Michael Chaput (Shawinigan Cataractes):

Michael Chaput led the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup with 12 points in six games scoring five goals and seven assists.  The 20-year-old from Montreal, Quebec, is a Columbus Blue Jackets prospect.  He recorded a point in all six games including four multi-point contests.

George Parsons Trophy (Most Sportsmanlike Player) – Zack Phillips (Saint John Sea Dogs):

Phillips scored three goals and one assist for four points in four games.  Accumulating just four penalty minutes in the tournament, the 19-year-old from Fredericton, New Brunswick, is a Minnesota Wild prospect selected in the first round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Hap Emms Memorial Trophy (Outstanding Goaltender) – Gabriel Girard (Shawinigan Cataractes):

Gabriel Girard of the Shawinigan Cataractes finished with a tournament-best four wins recording just one loss, and made 146 saves in five games.  The 20-year-old from Varennes, Quebec, posted a goals-against-average of 2.08 and save percentage of .930 which were both top marks among goaltenders.

The 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup All-Star team consists of Chaput at forward, along with Nashville Predators prospect Austin Watson who led the London Knights with five points in four games, along with Edmonton Oil Kings top scorer and 2012 NHL Entry Draft prospect Henrik Samuelsson who also finished the tournament five points in four games.  Phoenix Coyotes prospect Brandon Gormley was named a tournament All-Star on defence leading all blueliners with nine points in six games, joined by Montreal Canadiens prospect Jarred Tinordi of the Knights.  Knights’ goaltender Michael Houser was also named a tournament All-Star.

Courtesy QMJHL

Jean Named Assistant Coach Of Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team

On Tuesday Hockey Canada announced the coaching staff for the U-18 team that will compete at the Memorial Of Ivan Hlinka tournament from August 13th-18th in Piestany, Slovakia, and Breclev, Czech Republic.

Kingston Frontenacs’ Head Coach Todd Gill will be the team’s head coach; while Victoriaville Tigres’ Head Coach Yannick Jean and Guelph Storm Head Coach Scott Walker will be the assistants.

It’s Gill’s second time behind a Team Canada bench and first as head coach.  Gill was an assistant on the Canadian team that won the bronze medal at the 2012 IIHF U18 World Championship.  2012 was Gill’s first as Head Coach of the Frontenacs and was twice the Head Coach of Canada East at the World Junior A Challenge finishing fourth in 2009 and with a silver medal in 2010.  Gill played 1,007 NHL games over 19 seasons with Toronto, San Jose, St. Louis, Detroit, Phoenix, Colorado and Chicago, and also played for Canada at the 1992 IIHF World Championship, finishing seventh.

It is the first time behind the Team Canada bench for Jean who has been the Tigres’ head coach since February 4th, 2008.  He coached the PEI Rocket from 2005-07 and was an assistant with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens from 2002-05. Jean played four seasons with the Sagueneens (1992-96) and was a fifth-round selection (119th overall) of the Washington Capitals in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft before spending four seasons in the ECHL with Mississippi, Mobile and Greenville.

Walker has been the Guelph head coach since December 23rd, 2010, and appears behind the Team Canada bench for the second time.  He was the assistant coach for the bronze medal winning team at the 2012 World Junior Championships.  He has played in 829 NHL games with Vancouver, Nashville, Carolina and Washington. He also played for Canada at three IIHF World Championships (1999, 2001, 2005), winning a silver medal at the 2005 tournament in Austria.

These selections were announced following a thorough screening process carried out by Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence Policy Committee, which is made up of Bob Nicholson, President of Hockey Canada, Dave Branch, President of the Canadian Hockey League and Commissioner of the OHL, Gilles Courteau, the QMJHL Commissioner and WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. Hockey Canada was also represented by Claude Allain, officer, Scott Smith, chief operating officer and Brad Pascall, Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations and national teams.

Hockey Canada will announce details for Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team selection camp in the near future, including the players that will be invited to camp.

With information from the QMJHL and Hockey Canada.

Frk To Attend Combine

On Friday the Halifax Mooseheads announced that Martin Frk will attend the NHL Combine from May 28th-June 2nd in Toronto, ON.

Frk was ranked 20th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting in May and is one of Czech players and five forward, two rearguards, and two goalies that were invited from the QMJHL.

Other invitees are:

Francis Beauvillier, C, Rimouski Oceanic

Ryan Culkin, D, Quebec Remparts

Mikhail Grigorenko, C, Quebec Remparts

Tomas Hyka, RW, Gatineau Olympiques

Christophe Lalancette, RW Acadie-Bathurst Titan

Francois Tremblay, G, Val-d’Or Foreurs

James Melindy, D, Moncton Wildcats

Brandon Whitney, G, Victoriaville Tigres

CHL Awards 1267 Scholarships

On Friday the Canadian Hockey League announced that they awarded 1267 academic scholarships for the 2011-2012 season.

The CHL also announced that the OHL, QMJHL, and WHL are contributing a combined amount of over $5.2 million this season toward the CHL scholarships.  These Leagues solely fund the scholarship program.

The scholarships were awarded to 545 student athletes currently playing in the league, with another 722 graduates enrolled in various post-secondary institutions across North America with many graduates continuing their hockey careers in CIS programs across the country.

“Canadian Hockey League scholarships provide the student athlete the opportunity to pursue goals in both hockey and in school,” said CHL President David Branch.  “The CHL continues to be the number one supplier of talent to the National Hockey League and to Canadian Inter-university Sport.”

With information from the Canadian Hockey League

Culligan Returns To Nest

On Friday the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles announced that former captain Chris Culligan will be returning to the team to complete a 16-week internship as part of his four-year Bachelor of Kinesiology degree.

Culligan spent five years with the team from 2004-2009 and is the team’s all time point leader with 87 goals and 197 assists for 285 points in 317 regular season games.  He added 14 goals and 35 assists in 47 playoff contests.

Culligan is in his third year at the University of New Brunswick where he has found the back of the net 33 times while lending a helping hand on 67 more in 69 regular season games with the Varsity Reds.

“I really enjoyed my five years with the Screaming Eagles and to this day still have a lot of passion and pride for the organization,” said Culligan.  “When it came time to complete my internship, the Screaming Eagles were an obvious choice.”

Culligan will be exposed to a variety of aspects of the organization including ticket sales, sponsorship, advertising, social media, website, public relations, and planning for the upcoming season.

One area of focus for Culligan will be to work on the team’s season ticket campaign.

“One the most enjoyable aspects of my time with the Screaming Eagles was connecting with the community and interacting with our fans,” said Culligan.  “I’ve already started contacting some season ticket holders to renew and the reception has been great. I know it’s been a tough couple of seasons for the Eagles, but I believe that the team is on the right track.”

Culligan will travel to Quebec City to attend the 2012 QMJHL Entry Draft. During draft week he will sit in on league marketing meetings and on Saturday he will greet new players at the teams draft booth.  This year’s entry draft should be a busy one for the Screaming Eagles – currently they have six of the first 40 selections including the 3rd overall pick.

“We are very excited to have Chris with us for his internship,” said Screaming Eagles Director of Marketing Peter MacDonald. “It is our goal to expose Chris to as many different aspects of our business operation as possible.  Hopefully we will be able to provide him with a very good experience.”

CHL Announces Award Winners

On Saturday in Shawinigan at the Centre des Arts the CHL handed out the trophies to the 2012 award winners.

Tri-City Americans centre Brendan Shinnimin was the big winner coming away with two awards earning the Chrysler  Top Scorer and CCM Player of the Year honors.

2011-12 CHL Award Winners:

Jack Link’s Top Prospect of the Year – Nail Yakupov (Sarnia Sting):

One year after claiming BMO CHL Rookie of the Year honours, Nail Yakupov is the Jack Link’s Top Prospect of the Year ranked first overall by NHL Central Scouting in their final rankings for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.  The 18-year-old Russian scored 31 goals and 38 assists for 69 points in 42 games and represented his home country earning silver at the World Junior Championship.  Yakupov looks to become the sixth straight CHL player to be selected first overall in June’s draft.  Also considered for the award was Mikhail Grigorenko of the Quebec Remparts and Ryan Murray of the Everett Silvertips.

FRAM Sportsman of the Year – Mark Stone (Brandon Wheat Kings):

The 19-year-old from Winnipeg, MB, Mark Stone netted finished second in WHL scoring with a career-high 41 goals and 82 assists for 123 points this season while drawing just 22 minutes in penalties in 66 games. Stone, an Ottawa Senators prospect, drew minor penalties in just 10 of the 66 games he played and picked up more than one minor infraction in a single game just once all season, despite playing heavy minutes for the Wheat Kings.  Also considered for the award was Zach O’Brien of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, and Brandon Saad of the Saginaw Spirit.

Dodge Top Scorer of the Year – Brendan Shinnimin (Tri-City Americans):

Brendan Shinnimin finished the 2011-12 regular season with a CHL-leading 134 points on 58 goals and 76 assists. The 21-year-old Phoenix Coyotes prospect from Winnipeg, MB, accumulated the most points in a WHL regular season since the 1998-99 campaign. Shinnimin recorded points in 60 of the 69 games he played this season, and finished the season on a 23-game point streak.  Also considered for the award was Yanni Gourde of the Victoriaville Tigres, and Michael Sgarbossa of the Sudbury Wolves.

Home Hardware Humanitarian Player of the Year – Vincent Barnard (Quebec Remparts):

Vincent Barnard, a 21-year-old from Sept-Iles, QC, was involved in his community from the beginning of his junior career, however he outdid himself this year participating in a variety of community initiatives in the city where he played the final two of his four-year QMJHL career.  Also considered for the award was Andrew D’Agostini of the Peterborough Petes, and Taylor Vause of the Swift Current Broncos.

Subway Scholastic Player of the Year – Jonathan Brunelle (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles):

On top of maintaining an exemplary academic file, Jonathan Brunelle, a 20-year-old from Boisbriand, QC, is also a role model for his teammates just as much off as on the ice.  His perseverance in class has caught the attention and praise of his teachers while still producing on the ice with 85 points in 68 games.  Also considered for the award was Adam Pelech of the Erie Otters, and Reid Gow of the Spokane Chiefs.

Old Dutch Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year – Jim Hiller (Tri-City Americans):

In his third season as head coach of the Tri-City Americans, Jim Hiller guided the Ams to yet another outstanding regular-season campaign. Under Hiller, the Ams posted a 50-18-2-2 record for 104 points to capture their fourth U.S. Division title in five seasons and finish with the best record in the WHL Western Conference. Hiller’s Americans boasted the WHL’s fourth-ranked offense and the top-ranked defense, and scored 91 more goals than they allowed this season.  Also considered for the award was Jean-Francois Houle of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, and Greg Gilbert of the Saginaw Spirit.

BMO Rookie of the Year – Mikhail Grigorenko (Quebec Remparts):

Mikhail Grigorenko captures the first-year honour thanks to his remarkable season recording 40 goals and 45 assists in 59 games for the Quebec Remparts, leading them to 43 wins and 93 points.  The 18-year-old Russian native is also eligible for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.  Also considered for the award was Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts, and Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice.

Vaughn Goaltender of the Year – Michael Houser (London Knights):

Michael Houser posted a 46-15-0-1 record backstopping the Knights to their fifth Hamilton Spectator Trophy as the OHL’s top regular season team, and tied an OHL single season record for most wins by a goaltender.  The 19-year-old from Wexford, PA, had a goals-against-average of 2.47 and save percentage of .925 recording six shutouts.  Also considered for the award was Mathieu Corbeil of the Saint John Sea Dogs, and Tyler Bunz of the Medicine Hat Tigers.

Post Foods Canada Defenceman of the Year – Dougie Hamilton (Niagara IceDogs):

Dougie Hamilton led all OHL defencemen in scoring with 72 points in just 50 games and tied for third in the league with a plus-minus rating of plus-37.  He scored 17 goals with 55 assists including 30 assists recorded on the power play.  An 18-year-old from Toronto, ON, Hamilton was selected by the Boston Bruins with the ninth overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.  Also considered for the award was Jerome Gauthier-Leduc of the Rimouski Oceanic, and Alex Petrovic of the Red Deer Rebels.

CCM Player of the Year – Brendan Shinnimin (Tri-City Americans):

BrendanShinnimin, a Winnipeg, MB, native, enjoyed an excellent season for the Americans, recording 58 goals and 76 assists for 134 points along with a +45 rating in 69 games leading the CHL in scoring while helping the Ams win the WHL’s U.S. Division and Western Conference regular-season titles.  The 5’10”, 175-lb pivot finished second among all WHL players with 58 goals and third among WHL players with 76 assists.  Additionally, Shinnimin finished with 21 power play markers and second with seven shorthanded tallies.  The 21-year-old overage player signed an entry-level contract with the Phoenix Coyotes late in the season.  Also considered for the award was Yanni Gourde of the Victoriaville Tigres, and Michael Houser of the London Knights.

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