Maine Hockey Journal

Lewiston’s draft goes to plan

On Saturday, the Lewiston Maineiacs selected nine players in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s annual entry draft on Saturday.

“(Our) plan worked 100 percent almost to a scary point,” Lewiston Maineiacs General Manager Roger Shannon said. “The plan worked out well, we did a good job planning, we should be pretty good.”

“We got exactly what we wanted, the person who we wanted, and when we wanted them.”

After the Maineiacs selected Dillon Fournier with the first overall selection, the Maineiacs took Christophe Lalonde of Saint-Eustache in the second round where he had 13 goals and 18 assists in 39 games. The 5’8 forward is known as an agitator.

“He’s an outstanding player,” Shannon said. “He’s an agitator, but very good player. He plays axactly like (Philadelphia Flyers) Mike Richards. In my opinion he’s a clear first round pick.”

In the third round, Maineiacs added another defenseman by selecting Brayden Wood from Rothsay Netherwood High School. He’s known as a powerplay specialist. Shannon knows it might be a few years before he makes an impact.

“He’s ( like Rimouski Oceanic player) Ryan Kavanagh,” Shannon added. “He’s extremely smart and he’s extremely skilled. Some day he will be apart of the Maineiacs. However, I expect it will be a year or two in the making.”

In the sixth round, Lewiston picked Jay Kourkoulis from Lac St.-Louis. The 5’11 defenseman is a rugged player and the God Son of longtime NHLer Chris Chelios.

“I don’t think we will have trouble pick eight good defenseman to start the season with,” Shannon said about the depth of the defensemen.

This was Kourkoulis’ second year of draft eligibility as he was on the fence on the NCAA or the QMJHL route last year at this time. Shannon said Kourkoulis has made up his mind on what route he will take.

“He’s coming to Lewiston,” Shannon simply said.

The next pick for the Maineiacs in the eighth round, they went the Junior A route and selected Christopher Caissey from the Campbellton Tigers of the Maritime Junior “A” Hockey League. In 39 games, he potted four goals and nine assists.

“He’s a very good player, highly underrated,” Shannon stated. “He played a full year as a 16-year-old in Junior A, so he could make the jump to (major junior).”

For the first time since the team moved to Lewiston, the team selected a local player. With the third pick in the ninth round, the team selected forward Connor Anthoine of the Green Mountain Glades of the Eastern Junior Hockey League. In his rookie season in the EJHL, the University of Vermont recruit had 14 goals and 24 assists in 42 games.

“I think where he’s a local guy, he may decide to play in Lewiston versus the (NCAA) route,” Shannon said. “I think he will come to camp and he will get a taste of it to see how it feels.”

Shannon wouldn’t say if he’s hoping Anthoine will make the jump for this season or a couple seasons down the road.

“Obviously you always want them to jump in the line-up right away, but I also believe it’s not right to put them in too early. It just depends on what path he chooses.”

Two picks later, the team selected Maxime Godin of Miramichi AAA Midgets where he had four goals and 13 assists.

Once again, the team went to the Lac St.-Louis program as they selected 5’9 forward Sotiris Athanasopoulos.

In the 12th and final round, Lewiston selected Godin’s teammate Cole McDonald. The forward was third on the team in scoring with four goals and adding 37 assists in 35 games.

Notes: 2011 Maine recruit Darcy Ashley was selected by the Halifax Mooseheads in the second round. With the Summerside Western Capitals of the MJAHL, he had 26 goals and 41 assists.

Photo Courtesy of Ron Morin

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