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 Cape Breton Eagles

Eagles Select 15 Prospects in Forward-Heavy 2024 Entry Draft

June 10, 2024 - Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League (QMJHL)
Cape Breton Eagles News Release

15 prospects from across Quebec and the Maritimes sported black and yellow Eagles colours for the first time this past weekend at the 2024 QMJHL Entry Draft hosted at the Avenir Centre in Moncton, New Brunswick.

Ten forwards, four defencemen and one goalie heard their name called over the weekend from general manager Sylvain Couturier and team as the club put together the next generation of stars in Cape Breton.

The first night of the draft started off with a bang, as the Eagles traded their first overall pick to the Quebec Remparts for a 2024 first round pick (#4), a 2026 first round pick, a 2025 second round pick (DRU) and goaltender Louca Connolly. The 17-year-old net minder played last season with the Gatineau L'Intrépide of the Quebec U18 league. Connoly was selected in the 10th round by the Remparts in last year's draft.

Romain L'Italien | RD 1 #4

With their fourth overall pick, the Eagles selected Quebec-forward Romain L'Italien as their top selection in this weekend's draft. 16-year-old L'Italien, who stands at 6'1, 174lbs scored 30 points in 32 games with the Séminaire St-François Blizzard last season.

After being selected, L'Italien told reporters he is excited to get started in Cape Breton.

"I am going to do my best to help them, I am just so happy," he said. "I am going to give everything I got, so I just want (Cape Breton fans) to like me."

Later in the evening, L'Italien told Pat McNeil "Cape Breton is a great organization, one of the best. I am very excited to start."

Prior to the draft, L'Italien was ranked to be selected 6th overall by league central scouting, however Couturier and head scout Patrick LeBlond said they believed he was a top prospect in this year's draft class.

"I was suprisd he was still there (at number four). When I seen him there, there was no doubt he was who we wanted," Couturier said. "He is what we want as an Eagle; big, strong centreman with a strong right-handed shot. He is reliable with or without puck and we are very excited to have him.

With what should already be a strong roster next season, Couturier said he L'Italien could be another valuable piece of the puzzle.

"He has the capacity to be in the lineup. He is one of the rare guys in the draft who is ready to play in this league already. He will make us a better team, we aren't going to force anything but we think he is ready," he said.

Xavier Sabourin | RD 2 #27

With their second pick, the Eagles selected 16-year-old forward Xavier Sabourin. The 6'2, 183lbs right winger from Pincourt, Quebec played last season with the Châteauguay Grenadiers in the Quebec U18 league where he scored 17 points in 38 games.

Samuel Boyer | RD 3 #56

With their third draft choice, the Eagles selected 16-year-old left winger Samuel Boyer from La Prairie, Quebec. Boyer played last season with the Collège Charles-Lemoyne Riverains where he scored 26 points in 42 games.

Derek Andrews | RD 4 #58

With their first pick in the fourth round, the Eagles chose Hunter River, PEI's own Derek Andrews. The 16-year-old centreman played last season with the Kensington Wild where he scored 31 points in 35 games.

Hugo Charron | RD 4 #67

With their second pick in the fourth round, the Eagles selected Hugo Charron of the Châteauguay Grenadiers. The 16-year-old left winger stands at 5'11, 185lbs and scored 20 points in 42 games last season.

Aiden McCullough | RD 5 #75

In the fifth round, the Eagles selected 6'1 defenceman Aiden McCullough of Paradise, Newfoundland. The 16-year-old scored 31 points in 35 games last season with the Fredericton Caps U18.

Jacob Hartlin | RD 6 #96

In the sixth round, the Eagles selected Jacob Hartlin of the Halifax McDonalds. The right winger scored 27 points in 29 games last season during his first year of U18.

Jacob Pineau | RD 6 #100

With their second choice of the sixth round, the Eagles drafted 6'2 winger Jacob Pineau of the Moncton Flyers. Pineau is 17-years-old and scored 36 points in 35 games last season.

Mason Cook | RD 8 #140

The Eagles eighth round draft choice was d-man Mason Cook of the Kensington Wild. Cook stands at 6'1 172lbs and scored 20 points in 35 games last season.

Jake Poirier | RD 9 #158

The Eagles drafted their first Cape Breton-born prospect in Jake Poirier during the ninth round. The Cheticamp-born goaltender played last season with the Cape Breton West Islanders of the Nova Scotia U18 league. Poirier trains in the offseason with Eagles goaltending coach Blade Mann-Dixon.

Grady Burns | RD 11 #194

Centreman Grady Burns of the Northern Moose was the Eagles 11th round pick. The 16-year-old had ten points in 35 games last season, as well as seven points in eight playoff games.

Mathys Morrisette | RD 11 #196

Two picks later, the Eagles selected right winger Mathys Morrisette of the Mille-Îles Seigneurs M17 AAA. Last season, the 16-year-old scored 33 points in 32 games. Mathys grandfather Jean-Claude Morrisette, the former longtime general manager of the Laval Titan, was the one who drafted current Eagles general manager Sylvain Coutierer in the 1985 QMJHL draft.

Riley Creelman | RD 13 #219

In the 13th round, the Eagles selected their second Halifax Mac of the day in defencman Riley Creelman. Last season, Creelman had 16 points in 38 games with his hometown club.

Logan Foote | RD 13 #230

Yet another Mac was added to the Eagles prospect list in the 13th round when the club selected 6'2 defenceman Logan Foote 230th overall. Last season, Foote scored 14 points in 38 games in his first season of U18.

Derick Aubry | RD 14 #248

With their final pick in the 2024 Entry Draft, the Eagles chose centreman Derick Aubry from the Gatineau L'Intrépide. Aubry had eight points in 42 games in his U18 debut season.

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