Alexander McQuaid was shocked Monday to find out he had been traded.
Saint John Sea Dogs general manager Darrell Young informed McQuaid he had been dealt to the Quebec Remparts.
“I thought he was joking and then it kind of sunk in,” the Meadow Bank native told The Guardian after the deal was announced. “Definitely mixed emotions, but I think when the shock rolls over, I’m going to be really excited.”
The 18-year-old defenceman had three assists and 134 penalty minutes in his 53-game rookie season with Saint John.
“Leaving a place like Saint John is definitely hard. I loved it there,” he said.
“It’s a business in this game. They got an offer and they couldn’t refuse it. I don’t blame Saint John at all.”
But he is looking forward to getting settled with the Remparts, who are hosting this year’s Canadian Hockey League championship, the Memorial Cup, from May 21 to 31.
“(I’m) going to Quebec, going to the Mem Cup (hosting) team, so I’m really excited. Great place to play, great city,” McQuaid said.
CLICK HERE FOR ALL OF TUESDAY'S QMJHL TRANSACTIONS.
He is not the only defenceman the Remparts picked up Monday with Island connections.
Former Charlottetown Islanders blue-liner Ryan Graves was acquired from Val-d’Or. The Islanders traded him in January for a package including defenceman David Henley.
The 19-year-old Graves went to the Memorial Cup last year with the Quebec league champion Foreurs.
“I’m extremely excited and I know I am pretty privileged to have this opportunity to play in two Memorial Cups, not many people get that, and you have to take advantage of it,” he told The Guardian.
“If I was going to be moved, Quebec was definitely the top of my list.”
Graves said it was different than the January trade to Val-d’Or.
“I was pretty attached here
in Charlottetown. My billets became like a second family to me,” he said.
Graves added his game developed from an average player while in Charlottetown which made it tough to leave.
Graves was around the Islanders’ training camp last week in Pownal. He had off-season shoulder surgery to repair a tear, which occurred midway through the season.
The Yarmouth, N.S., native said he won’t likely play until later in October.
The trade will give Graves an opportunity to play with fellow New York Rangers draft pick Anthony Duclair this season.
To Saint John
D Louis-Philip Fortin
A fourth-round selection in 2017
D Alexander McQuaid
A fifth-round pick in 2015
D Vincent Lanoue
A first-round pick in 2015
A second-round choice in 2017.
D Ryan Graves