EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – Never in his short history has the Edmundston Blizzard selected so many local players. The abundance of talented midget-aged players in the Northwest prompted the team’s organization to turn to them in the annual Maritime Junior A Hockey Draft (MHL) draft held on Saturday, June 13.
Of the 11 players selected, the Blizzard named Jacob Long, Dylan Lang and Matthew Parker. To these three local players are added the two territorial picks chosen earlier this week, Jérémie Thibodeau and Noah Gibbs.
The Blizzard also had the good fortune of selecting five times in the first two rounds, twice in the first round and three times in the next one.
In the first round, the Blizzard made defenseman Jacob Long of Edmundston the 6th overall pick. Last season with the Fredericton Capitals, he had 5 goals and 5 assists in 34 games. He is a tough 6’1’’ rearguard who was selected in the 5thround (89th overall) by the Cape Breton Eagles in the QMJHL draft on Saturday, June 6.
Also, in the first round (11th overall), the Blizzard grabbed left winger Matthew McHatten of Woodstock. He was Jacob Long’s teammate in Fredericton last season, tallying 13 goals and 24 assists in 38 games, good for the third spot among the teams’s point-getters.
In the second round, the Blizzard selected Dylan Lang from Saint-Jacques. The forward wore Blizzard’s colors for 16 games last season, collecting 4 goals and 2 assists. He also played at high school level with the Edmundston Cité des jeunes A.-M.-Sormany Republicans with whom he collected 5 goals and 10 assists in 11 games.
Landon MacDonald of Stratford, PEI, was the Blizzard’s fourth choice (23rd overall). A defenseman, he had 4 goals and 11 assists with the Charlottetown Knights last season. The Blizzard’s second choice in the second round (24th overall) was Jesse Chamberlain, a 6’2’’ defenseman from Bathurst, who had 7 goals and 13 assists in 39 games with the Northern Moose.
After the two territorial picks (Thibodeau and Gibbs) known earlier during the week, the Blizzard made Ethan Johnson his 6th choice in the 6th round (71st overall). The Quispamsis native had 14 goals and 24 assists in 31 games last season with the Mount Academy Saints.
The Blizzard picked a goalkeeper during the draft and Matthew Parker of Edmundston deserves the honor. Blizzard’s seventh choice, he was selected in the 9th round (97th overall). In 2019-2020 with the Fredericton Capitals, he averaged 3.55 goals against in 22 games.
Nicholas Brennan, a forward from Grafton, New Brunswick, was Blizzard’s 8th pick in the 9th round (107th overall). He had 8 goals and 19 assists in 45 games with the Ontario Hockey Academy last year.
Ben Comeau of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, was Blizzard’s last choice in the 10th round (119th overall). The giant-sized 6’4’’ defenseman had 1 goal and 7 assists in 35 games with the Dartmouth midget team last season.
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Here are Edmundston Blizzard’s five local players who were selected at the 2020 midget Maritime Junior Hockey League draft on Saturday, June 13. They proudly took a photo right after the draft in front of the Jean-Daigle Centre, the home of the Blizzard. In front, from left to right, Noah Gibbs (2nd territorial pick), Matthew Parker (7th pick, 97th overall) and Dylan Lang (3rd pick, 18th overall). At the back: Jacob Long (1st pick, 6th overall) and Jérémie Thibodeau (1st territorial pick).
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Source: Hugues Chiasson, vice-president communications – The Edmundston Blizzard; (506) 740-0623 – cell phone