Photo: Baie-Comeau Drakkar forward and Los Angeles Kings prospect Valentin Zykov is expected to return to a Drakkar squad that could challenge for the QMJHL title (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
The 2012-13 season was a landmark year for the QMJHL. Not only did the Halifax Mooseheads follow a record-breaking season by keeping the Memorial Cup in the CHL's eastern-most league for a third straight year, but the Q was also creating plenty of headlines at the NHL Draft with six QMJHL players selected in the first round. Leading the way was Mooseheads Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin who went first and third overall to the Colorado Avalanche and the Tampa Bay Lightning, respectively.
Photo: Chicago Blackhawks 2011 first round pick Mark McNeill has completed his WHL career with the Prince Albert Raiders and will most likely begin his pro career with the Rockford IceHogs (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
One’s a little bigger and has a bit more physicality to his game, while the other is slightly smaller, but has a little more offensive flair. One’s more serious and business-like in his approach; the other’s a little more jovial and laissez-faire. The question of which one preferred country and which preferred rock ‘n roll wasn't asked.
Photo: Toronto Maple Leafs 2013 first round pick Frederik Gauthier will get a look from the big club during camp, but is likely to return to the QMJHL’s Rimouski Oceanic (courtesy of Chris So/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
The Toronto Maple Leafs made a big impression with their first-round selection at this year’s NHL Draft. And in his first tournament bearing the blue and white, Frederik Gauthier is hoping to make a big impression on his new employers.
Photo: Chicoutimi Sagueneens goaltender and 2014 prospect Julio Billia should be the starter in Chicoutimi now that last year’s starter, Christopher Gibson, has moved on (courtesy of Le guide de Montreal-Nord)
Canada's relative woes in recent international tournaments have largely been pegged to weaker than usual goaltending. But the tide may be turning for the Canadians, if the 2013 U18 WJC and Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament are any indication.
Photo: Halifax Mooseheads teammates Jonathan Drouin (L) and Nathan MacKinnon (C) were two of the top three picks at the 2013 NHL Draft, along with Aleksander Barkov (R) (courtesy of Rich Graessle/Icon SMI)
The 2013 draft eligible class from the QMJHL was touted as being one of the strongest in recent memory, and they certainly lived up to that billing at the NHL Draft.