The 2013 QMJHL Draft was a monumental one.
The draft produced future NHL talent, including a handful of players selected outside of Round 1, and countless players that would go on to long, 4- to 5-year QMJHL careers. The Saint John Sea Dogs built the foundation of a future President’s Trophy victory when they selected Thomas Chabot, Mathieu Joseph, Nathan Noel, Sam Dove-McFalls, and Bailey Webster. The Shawinigan Cataractes selected one of the most exciting players to come through the QMJHL in recent memory when they selected Anthony Beauvillier 2nd overall.
On Prince Edward Island, the 2013 QMJHL Draft was monumental for reasons beyond the on-ice talent: Following the sale of the PEI Rocket, the draft was the first official event of the Charlottetown Islanders.
The Islanders were coming off of a season where the Rocket finished 7th in the QMJHL and were eliminated by the Val d’Or Foreurs in the first round of the playoffs. Led by top overagers Ben Duffy and Josh Currie, the Rocket left the Islanders with the 13th overall selection in the 1st round of the draft. With Duffy and Currie both graduating from junior hockey, and decisions to be made on a number of 19 year-olds, the Islanders entered the draft in transition both on and off the ice.
The transition began before the draft for Charlottetown, as the team traded 19-year old netminder Maxime Lagace to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles for Stratford native Zach Beaton, Sebastien Lemieux, and a 7th round draft pick. The move not only aligned with the rebuilding strategy, but also aligned with another initiative by new Islanders general manager Grant Sonier to give the team a distinct Maritime flavour.
The first draft pick In Charlottetown Islanders history would eventually become a cornerstone of the franchise: Daniel Sprong, selected 13th overall, was regarded as an elite puckhandler with great offensive vision heading in to the draft. Picked outside the top-ten, the Islanders were quickly being tagged by the media as selecting the early steal of the draft.
Sprong would go on to build a prolific career in Charlottetown, recording 261 points in 199 QMJHL games, all the while spending time with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the team that drafted him in the 2nd round of the 2015 NHL Draft.
After Sprong, the Islanders weren’t set to select again until the 3rd round. That would change before the end of the 1st round; the Islanders agreed to send Louick Marcotte, the team’s 3rd-leading scorer the year before, and a 7th round pick to Val d’Or in exchange for the last pick of the 1st round, 19th overall. The Isles would use that pick to select Alexandre Goulet, a speedy centreman from Levis, Quebec.
Together, he and Sprong were to form the nucleus of the new-look Islanders. The two would be paired together from the outset, giving Charlottetown major junior fans a pair of young faces to rally behind and take the team to the future.
Goulet would record 72 goals and 128 points over two and a half seasons in Charlottetown. He was eventually traded during his third season to Victoriaville for Samuel Blais. In total, Goulet would finish his four-year QMJHL career with 258 points in 262 games.
From there, the push for Maritime talent began for Charlottetown. In the third round, the Islanders would select another player would become an important piece of the puzzle: Antigonish, Nova Scotia native Bradley Kennedy. Like Sprong and Goulet, Kennedy would also make the Islanders out of his first training camp and make an immediate impact, recording 27 points in his rookie year. The hard-nosed forward endeared himself to the Islanders faithful in his three seasons in Charlottetown, capped off by an impressive 25-goal season in 2015-2016.
Along with Kennedy, the Islanders selected almost exclusively Nova Scotian outside of the first round. Of the team’s 13 draft picks, seven were Bluenosers, while the last pick in the draft, Brett Doiron, was from Prince Edward Island.
Unfortunately for the Islanders, outside of their top three picks, only two players (4th rounder Duncan McKie and 12th rounder Josh Shatford) combined to play ten games in the QMJHL. That’s not to say Charlottetown didn’t reap the benefits of this draft; six additional players selected in the first round eventually played for the Islanders, including future captain Guillaume Brisebois, Alex Dostie, Nicolas Meloche, and Cameron Askew. Furthermore, future fan favourites Blais and Pascal Aquin were selected later in the draft, making the 2013 QMJHL Draft one of the deepest in recent memory.
- Charlottetown would acquire defenseman Will Thompson from the Saint John Sea Dogs following his rookie season. A first-round pick of the Sea Dogs in the 2013 Draft, Thompson was eventually traded for another first-round pick in this draft, Nicolas Meloche.
- Lukas Cormier is a by-product of the 2013 Draft! After the Islanders acquired David Henley from the Val d’Or Foreurs, he was subsequently traded back to Val d’Or to be closer to his family. As part of the trade, the Foreurs sent their 2018 1st round pick to Charlottetown, which eventually came to be Lukas Cormier!
Round 1, #13: Daniel Sprong
Round 1, #19: Alexandre Goulet
Round 3, #54: Brad Kennedy
Round 4, #69: Duncan McKie
Round 5, #86: Logan Cooke
Round 8, #133: Layton Parsons
Round 9: #147: Alex Anthony
Round 9, #158: Jean-Philippe DuPaul
Round 10, #176: Ben DiMaio
Round 11, #194: Jordan Bezanson
Round 12, #212: Josh Shatford
Round 13, #230: Trevor Fidler
Round 14, #248: Brett Doiron