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Joseph, Drew at main NHL camps

Charlottetown Islanders defenceman Hunter Drew, left, protects the puck from Halifax Mooseheads forward Connor Moynihan during regular season action in February at the Eastlink Centre.
Charlottetown Islanders defenceman Hunter Drew, left, protects the puck from Halifax Mooseheads forward Connor Moynihan during regular season action in February at the Eastlink Centre. - Jason Malloy

Islanders waiting to see what happens with veteran defencemen

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Two Charlottetown Islanders are at NHL camps.

Captain Pierre-Olivier Joseph and Hunter Drew, both defencemen, did enough during rookie camps to be invited to the Arizona Coyotes and Anaheim Ducks main camp.

Charlottetown Islanders captain Pierre-Olivier Joseph fires a shot on goal during the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League semifinal.
Charlottetown Islanders captain Pierre-Olivier Joseph fires a shot on goal during the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League semifinal.

Islanders head coach and general manager Jim Hulton was pleased for both of the young men.

“It was probably easily expected in P.O.’s case given the fact he was there last year,” Hulton said. “Hunter was a little bit unknown, but because he was a draft pick and had a very good rookie tournament, those things make you better as an individual, and better individuals make us a better team if they come back.”

If Joseph doesn’t make the Coyotes he has to come back to the Islanders while Drew, who is a year older, could play in the AHL.

The Islanders haven’t made a final decision on its three overage spots given the uncertainty around Drew. Forwards Keith Getson, Daniel Hardie and Sam King are all still with the Islanders.

“Until we know for sure what we have in-house we’re not going to make any moves,”

“This also allows us to have the three overage chairs filled on opening night no matter what happens.”

The Islanders only had two for the first seven games of the regular season a year ago as Pascal Aquin served an eight-game suspension.

“Those overages play such a prominent role all season, but particularly off the hop,” Hulton said.


Changes coming

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has changed its regular season and playoff format. Here are the highlights.

– The three divisions have been replaced by four with two divisions in each conference. The six-team Maritimes Division remains intact. They will be joined by the East Division (Quebec, Chicoutimi, Rimouski and Baie-Comeau) to form the Eastern Conference.

– The Central and West divisions each are comprised of four teams to form an eight-team Western Conference.

– The top 16 teams still make the playoffs. If that includes the ninth and/or 10th-place teams in the Eastern Conference, they will join the Western Conference for the playoffs.

– The two division winners in each conference will be ranked first and second based on regular season point total with the remaining six teams being ranked three to eight based on points.

– The first two rounds of the playoffs are played within the conference structure, but the semifinal will see the four teams ranked one through four based on regular season totals.

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