CHL Notebook: Unheralded QMJHL players that went on to NHL success

Sam Cosentino and Fizal Khamisa discuss the top talent in the upcoming NHL Draft, including Alex Lafreniere, a race for the number two spot, and the likeliness of a combine taking place.

Sidney Crosby, Sean Couturier and Nathan MacKinnon were early selections in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft that went on to become stars in NHL.

But being selected early isn’t always a prerequisite for carving out a career in the pros.

Much like its Canadian Hockey League counterparts in the Ontario Hockey League and the Western Hockey League, the QMJHL has seen its share of players that weren’t early picks, or selected at all in some cases, that have since made a name for themselves in pro hockey.

Acadie-Bathurst Titan: Patrice Bergeron has settled into a solid NHL career after being selected by the Boston Bruins in the second round of the 2003 NHL Draft. The veteran NHLer was a fifth-round pick of the Titan in the 2001 QMJHL Draft.

Baie-Comeau Drakkar: Though he saw limited time with the team before being traded to Moncton in his rookie year, David Savard was a fourth-round pick of the Drakkar in the 2007 draft. Selected in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Draft by Columbus, Savard has become a regular in the Blue Jackets’ lineup.

Blainville-Boisbriand Armada: A sixth-round pick in the 2010 QMJHL Draft, Cedric Paquette is nearing 400 NHL games after being selected in the fourth round of the 2012 NHL Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Cape Breton Eagles: William Carrier was a fourth-round pick in the 2010 QMJHL Draft before the St. Louis Blues drafted him in the second round of the 2013 NHL Draft. After being selected in the expansion draft, Carrier has settled in with the Vegas Golden Knights.

Charlottetown Islanders: Hunter Drew joined the Islanders as an undrafted free agent from Ontario and turned it into being selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the sixth round of the 2018 NHL Draft.

Chicoutimi Sagueneens: Going back to the 1976 QMJHL Draft, Guy Carbonneau was a fifth-round pick by Chicoutimi. He went on to be a third-round pick of the Montreal Canadiens in 1979, play over 1,300 NHL games with the Canadiens, Blues and Dallas Stars, and was elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2019.

Drummondville Voltigeurs: After being selected in the second round of the 1990 QMJHL Draft, Ian Laperriere was selected by the Blues in the seventh round of the 1992 NHL Draft. He turned it into over 1,000 NHL games with the Blues, New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, Colorado Avalanche and Philadelphia Flyers.

Gatineau Olympiques: Passed over in the OHL draft, Claude Giroux, from Hearst, Ont., joined Gatineau as an undrafted free agent and was eventually selected by the Flyers in the first round of the 2006 NHL Draft.

Halifax Mooseheads: Though he never played a game with the team, Adam Pardy was a 13th round pick of the Mooseheads in 2001. After being traded to Cape Breton, Pardy was eventually selected by the Calgary Flames in the 2004 NHL Draft and went on to a 14-year professional career.

Moncton Wildcats: A second-round pick of the Wildcats in the 2004 draft, Brad Marchand used a solid sophomore season in Moncton to be selected in the third round of the 2006 NHL Draft by Boston. He’s gone on to play over 700 games with the Bruins.

Quebec Remparts: A veteran of over 1,000 NHL games after being drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the 2005 NHL Draft, Marc-Edouard Vlasic was a fourth-round pick of the Remparts in the 2003 QMJHL Draft.

Rimouski Oceanic: Undrafted before joining the Oceanic, Ryan Clowe went on to use his QMJHL career to be selected by the San Jose Sharks in the sixth round of the NHL Draft in 2001. Clowe went on to play just under 500 NHL games.

Rouyn-Noranda Huskies: Nearing 400 games as an NHL player after stints in Buffalo, Montreal and Anaheim, Nicolas Deslauriers was a fifth-round pick of the Huskies in 2007 before the Kings selected him in the third round of the 2009 NHL Draft.

Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) celebrates his goal against the Detroit Red Wings. (Paul Sancya/AP)
Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) joined the Gatineau Olympiques after being passed over in the OHL draft. (Paul Sancya/AP)

Saint John Sea Dogs: A fourth-round pick in the 2008 QMJHL Draft, Nathan Beaulieu was ultimately selected by Montreal in the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft. Currently with the Winnipeg Jets, Beaulieu also had a stint with the Sabres in his young NHL career.

Shawinigan Cataractes: Buffalo selected Jason Pominville in the second round of the 2001 NHL Draft and he went on the play over 1,000 games with the Sabres and Minnesota Wild. Prior to his NHL career, Pominville was a fourth-round pick of Shawinigan in 1998.

Sherbrooke Phoenix: A young franchise that has had limited NHL draft picks, Daniel Audette was the first player selected by the franchise, selected with the top pick in the 2012 QMJHL Draft. He also became the first Phoenix player selected in the NHL draft when he was taken by Montreal in the fifth round of the 2014 draft. Audette is currently in his fifth season in the AHL.

Val-d’Or Foreurs: Marco Scandella was selected in the sixth round of the 2007 QMJHL Draft. After Minnesota selected him in the second round of the 2008 draft, Scandella has become an NHL regular and is nearing 600 games played in the league.

Victoriaville Tigres: A third-round pick in the 1998 QMJHL draft, Matthew Lombardi was actually selected in the NHL draft twice, first by the Edmonton Oilers in 2000 before the Calgary Flames selected him in the third round of the 2002 draft as a re-entry. Lombardi posted 130 points in the season prior to being selected by the Flames.

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