Charlottetown Islanders pick Mitchell Balmas

Jason Malloy
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Guilbault, Smith, Getson take in second, third rounds

The Charlottetown Islanders have selected Cape Breton Tradesman forward Mitchell Balmas with the seventh overall selection at the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Draft.

Balmas, who described himself as a "two-way centreman", said fans can expect a hard-worker when he arrives in Charlottetown.

“I’m going to give it every time I come on the ice,” he told The Guardian.

“I think my talents are good enough to help the team" in 2014-15.

Balmas, 16, had 19 goals and 27 assists for 46 points in 29 games this season in the Nova Scotia major midget league.

"We're getting one of the premier goal scorers in this year's draft," general manager Grant Sonier told The Guardian moments after the pick was announced.

“This kid plays the game properly on both sides of the ice. He’s a two-way, power-type forward."

Central Scouting had him ranked 11th overall. He is a six-foot, 175-pound Sydney, N.S., resident.

“We couldn’t be happier to have selected him,” Sonier said. “We got ourselves a dandy.”

He added there was "not a chance" Balmas would have still been on the board at 12 where the Islanders were scheduled to pick before the trade with Gatineau.

He had two assists for Team Atlantic at the under-17 world hockey challenge. He was the only underage player on the team, which was captained by Islanders defenceman Luc Deschenes.

Balmas said he realized the QMJHL might be a possibility after having a good first year in bantam and realizing the goal was a great accomplishment.

“That’s what I pushed for . . . and now I’m here, so (I’m) very happy,” he said.  “My long-term goal is to play pro hockey somewhere and get paid for what I love to do."

Balmas is a Toronto Maple Leafs fan and his favourite player is Sidney Crosby.

Aaron Rice, who coached Balmas this season, said the centre is a great offensive talent with lots of upside.

“For me he’s a north-south player that is lethal on a power play because he knows where to be on the ice. He has good vision and jumps into holes,” he said.

“He’s a terrific kid off the ice. Charlottetown and P.E.I., as a whole, certainly got a great character in Mitchell Balmas.”

 

 

The following are the Islanders picks:

1. Mitchell Balmas, F, Cape Breton Tradesman (7 overall)

Size, hometown – Six-feet, 175 pounds, Sydney, N.S.

Birth year – 1998

GP      G      A  Pts

29     19    27   46

2. Samuel Guilbault, F, Antoine-Girouard (24 overall)

Size, hometown –Five-foot-10, 180 pounds, Varennes, Que.

Birth year – 1998

Sonier says – “He’s not big in stature, but he’s got speed, really good hands and plays with grit.”

GP      G      A    Pts

42      14     21   35

2. Andrew Smith, D, St-Eustache (34 overall)

Size, hometown – Six-foot-six, 183 pounds, Blainville, Que.

Birth year – 1998

Sonier says – “While he plays gritty and he’s big, he actually skates really well.”

GP      G      A  Pts

42      1       6   7

3. Keith Getson, F, South Shore (48 overall)

Size, hometown – Six feet, 179 pounds, Bridgewater, N.S.

Birth year – 1998

Sonier says – “Keith Getson, we believe, might be one of the biggest steals in the draft."

GP      G      A    Pts

29      18     10   28

3. Luke House, G, Western, N.L. (55 overall)

Size, hometown – Six-foot-two, 165 pounds, Cornerbrook, N.L.

Birth year – 1998

Sonier says – “We parted ways with a good young goaltender in Eric Brassard, but we have a plan in place and obviously adding House was a part of that.”

GP     GAA

10      3.60

4. Anthony Wojcik, F, Charles-Lemoyne (63 overall)

Size, hometown – Five-foot-10, 181 pounds, Greenfield Park, Que.

Birth year – 1998

Sonier says – "He hits like a truck. He is the hardest hitting player in this draft.”

GP      G      A    Pts   PIM

37      4       0    4     73

4. Frank Sullivan, D, Westminster, CT (73 overall)

Size, hometown – Six foot, 187 pounds, Fairfield, Ct.

Birth year – 1996

Sonier says – Smooth skating, puck-moving American defenceman  who has not committed to a college. “We have to convince him to come here now because he’s got NCAA schools coming after him.”

GP      G      A    Pts

25      4      10    14

5. Lucas Sangster, D, Pictou (84 overall)

Size, hometown –Six-foot-three, 216 pounds, Amherst, N.S.

Birth year – 1997

Sonier says – "Hard-hitting, snarly . . . Really, really likes to play the game at a high level of intensity.”

GP      G      A    Pts

32      0      23    23

6. Ryan Brushett, F, Lac St-Louis (97 overall)

Size, hometown – Five-foot-11, 168 pounds, Verdun, Que.

Birth year – 1998

Sonier says – Rated by Central Scouting as a first-round talent, teams stayed away from him because he may pursue NCAA hockey. "We took the gamble that there might be a chance to come. If he comes, he will be the steal of the draft.”

GP      G      A    Pts

42      14     15   29

8. Mathieu Jones, F, Gatineau (140 overall)

Size, hometown – Five-foot-10, 163 pounds, Gatineau

Birth year – 1998

Sonier says – “Maybe not physically ready right now, but an elite talent.”

GP      G      A    Pts

41      4      15   19

10. Hunter Luhmann, F, Proctor Academy (169 overall)

Size, hometown – Five-foot-10, 196 pounds, New London, N.H.

Birth year – 1997

Sonier says – An American the Islanders identified high on their list. “There’s a possibility of him coming."

GP      G      A    Pts

30      19    18    37

11. David Comeau, D, Fredericton (187 overall)

Size, hometown – Six-foot-two, 190 pounds, Fredericton

Birth year – 1997

Sonier says – “A good size kid that skates really well.”

GP      G      A    Pts

35      5      15    20

12. Andrew Dumaresque, F, Cole Harboue (205 overall)

Size, hometown – Five-foot-11, 170 pounds, Bedford

Birth year – 1997

Sonier says – “A hard-working kid that caught the eyes of our scouts. . . He’s a blue-collar guy that really works hard for his points.”

GP      G      A    Pts

34      13     19   32

13. Brady Griffin-Hefford, F, Western, N.L. (223 overall)

Size, hometown – Six-foot-two, 172 pounds, Cornerbrook

Birth year – 1997

Sonier says – “A big Newfoundland kid, six-three, plays with a ton of grit and a ton of jam.” He showed big improvement from the beginning of the season.

“We like the fact that he’s improved a lot and we hope that trend can continue."

GP      G      A    Pts

24      10     12   22

14. Ace Cowans, F, Groton (241 overall)

Size, hometown – Five-foot-seven,150 pounds, Beverly, MA

Birth year – 1996

Sonier says –

GP      G      A    Pts

U/a

Organizations: Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Draft, Team Atlantic

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Nova Scotia

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