SUMMERSIDE – Forwards Keiran Gallant of Covehead and Lucas Parsons of Stratford were both “very excited” to share a draft-day memory.
The two 16-year-old Kensington Wild teammates, who were part of a strong Class of 2019 for Prince Edward Island players in the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) Entry Draft on Saturday, were the first two selections of the Truro Bearcats. Gallant went sixth overall and Parsons was Truro’s second-round selection, 18th overall.
“It’s a pretty good feeling to get drafted that high for sure,” said Gallant, who had 41 points in 35 regular-season games in his first season in the New Brunswick/P.E.I. Major Midget Hockey League. “To go to Truro, it’s not too far and it’s a good organization.”
Parsons, who talked to Truro a few times leading up to the draft, echoed Gallant’s thoughts.
“It’s a great feeling for sure,” said Parsons, who collected 31 points in 33 regular-season games with the Wild. “I heard it’s a great organization and it’s not too far.”
Combined with Jack Campbell’s second overall selection to the Grand Falls Rapids, three of the first 18 selections were products of the Wild.
“It’s great to see those guys get drafted,” said Wild head coach Kyle Dunn. “We are a development league and that’s what we want to see. We want to see guys get to the next level.”
Gallant and Parsons both talked to the Bearcats in advance of the draft.
“I talked to them a good bit and talked to other teams, too,” said Gallant, a 2018 draft pick of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Charlottetown Islanders. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to go and where I was going to go.”
Asked what feedback the Bearcats gave him, Parsons answered: “They said they watched me a few times and liked my game overall. Something I have heard before is I have to work on my speed.”
How would Parsons describe his style of play?
“I’m a goal-scorer but I’m a play-maker as well,” he answered. “One of my better skills is I see the ice really well. I will go into the corners and try to be strong on the puck.”
Speed is a big part of Gallant’s game and he says he likes to focus on a well-rounded game.
“I like to think of myself as a grinder, hard worker and I bring a lot of intensity and like to help my teammates. I’m a pass-first kind of guy.”
Gallant and Parsons were two of six Wild players selected and overall there were 12 Prince Edward Islanders taken Saturday. Add in the Summerside Western Capitals’ two territorial picks announced last week, and 14 P.E.I. players were taken.
Following is a list of Prince Edward Islanders drafted In MHL Entry Draft:
Grand Falls – forward Jack Campbell, Kensington Wild.
(27 games, 10-19—29 points).
Truro – forward Keiran Gallant, Kensington Wild.
(35 games, 17-24—41 points)
Truro – forward Lucas Parsons, Kensington Wild.
(33 games, 17-14—31 points).
Summerside – forward Alex Graham, Charlottetown Pride.
(33 games, 9-14—23 points)
Fredericton – defenceman Matt McQuaid, Kensington Wild.
(30 games, 4-8—12 points).
Summerside – forward Austin Arsenault, Ontario Hockey Academy
(45 games, 14-26—40 points)
Grand Falls – forward Max Chisholm, Charlottetown Pride.
(28 games, 5-7—12 points).
Yarmouth – forward Reid Vos, Charlottetown Pride.
(30 games, 6-3—9 points)
Summerside – defenceman Zach Biggar, Kensington Wild.
(31 games, 4-24—28 points)
Summerside – forward Harrison James, Rothesay Netherwood Prep School.
(18 games, 0-1—1 point)
Yarmouth – defenceman Michael McQuaid, Newbridge Academy.
(9 games, 0-1—1 point)
Yarmouth – forward Noah Griffin, Charlottetown Pride.
(35 games, 6-12—18 points).
Summerside – forward Connor Keough, Notre Dame Argos
(39 games, 3-2—5 points).
Summerside – forward Landon Clow, Kensington Wild.
(35 games, 11-17—28 points).