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The Charlottetown Islanders have nine new faces on this year’s roster.
Head coach Jim Hulton gives fans a glimpse of who the new guys are:
The 16-year-old Halifax native was the top goalie drafted in June. He went in the second round (31st overall). He will be backup fifth-year veteran Matthew Welsh.
“It’s an apprenticeship year. It’s tough to be an underage goalie in this league so patience is key,” Hulton said. “We don't want to tax Matt as much as we’ve done the last couple of years.”
The Islanders acquired the 16-year-old Halifax native in a trade on Aug. 1 with the Chicoutimi Saguenéens, who selected him 18th overall in June’s draft. He has skated a lot with overage defenceman Brendon Clavelle with the Isles.
“Extremely, extremely mobile defenceman that skates really well. Big, big upside there,” Hulton said.
Anthony Hamel and William Trudeau
Hamel was selected in the fourth round (67th overall) by the Islanders in 2018 while Trudeau went in the 11th round (194th overall) to the Drummondville Voltigeurs. The Isles acquired Trudeau as part of the return for captain Pierre-Olivier (P.O.) Joseph in December.
“Hamel and Trudeau are two kids that had really, really good camps that are going to play and play regularly here for a long time,” Hulton said.
Justin Gill was the Islanders second pick in June’s draft, one spot behind Goobie.
“Justin Gill was a pleasant surprise in camp. A big body, (but he’s) 16-year-olds, so we’re always a little bit cautious not to put too much on their plates.”
Keiran Gallant was a 13th-round pick (226th overall) by the Islanders in 2018. The Covehead native had a breakout season with the Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild with 41 points in 35 games and came to camp and earned a spot.
“Keiran Gallant was a wonderful surprise. He looks like this year’s Zac Beauregard with a lot of energy and excitement around his game.”
Patrick LeBlanc was selected in the third round (41st overall) in 2018. He played major midget hockey in Moncton in his draft year with Lukas Cormier. The two grew up in Sainte-Marie-de-Kent, N.B. LeBlanc was second in the New Brunswick/Prince Edward Island Major Midget Hockey League scoring last season with 74 points, including 52 assists) in 35 games.
“Patty is a guy that once his confidence catches up with where his abilities are at, at this level, I think you’ll start to see some of the number he put up in midget.”
The Islanders picked 18-year-old forward Gaetan Jobin in this year’s Canadian Hockey League import draft.
“Jobin is a kid coming in from Switzerland who looks better and better every day. He’s getting acclimated with the culture, but we know, even using Nikita (Alexandrov) as an example, it takes time.”
Cedrick Desruisseaux was a key piece the Islanders received in return for Joseph. The 19-year-old forward played for a deep Drummondville team a year ago, but is known for his ability to score, particularly on the power play. He was drafted in the first round of the 2016 QMJHL draft in Charlottetown. There are similiarities to former Isles forward Derek Gentile.
“I think Cedric is going to be a fan favourite. He’s the prototypical Quebec league player from years past in terms of smaller in stature but very, very quick. Quick feet, quick hands. Will score goals.”