Sherbrooke Phoenix

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Sherbrooke Phoenix June 7, 2012 12:32 PM

The Sherbrooke Phoenix became the 18th team in the QMJHL yesterday with the completion of the expansion draft. The last time the QMJHL held an expansion draft was in 2005 for both the Saint John Sea Dogs and the St. John’s Fog Devils.

The new franchise made some key selections including former first-round pick Brent Turnbull of Stellarton from the Bathurst Titan and P.E.I. Rocket forward prospect Alex Hazelhurst from the Halifax Titans major midget squad.

The QMJHL trade period opens on Friday, and the entry draft is saturday. The Moncton Wildcats will reportedly acquire the first overall pick in the Canadian Hockey League import draft from Sherbrooke. The deal is expected to become official friday when trading opens up.

The top rated goalie by QMJHL’s Central Scouting Service is Halifax Titans Mason McDonald at seventh overall. A dual citizen of the US and Canada, Mcdonald will not count against any teams import restrictions. He could also choose to play in the US should another opportunity arrise in the USHL.

Could Sherbrooke make a suprising move for PEI forward Ben Duffy? Talk of a Duffy trade has been swirling since early last season, when the former fifth overall QMJHL pick told Metro he would be “very happy” if he was traded to a contender. Would Sherbrooke be a contender in year one? Unlikely, but it could certainly set the tone for the expansion team.

Duffy, who has 231 points in four seasons with P.E.I., had 34 goals and 48 assists for 82 points in 68 games and finished 12th in QMJHL scoring. Entering his overage season in the QMJHL, and considering the limit of over age players allowed on each team, one would think making a move for a point a night producing forward is not out of the question.

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