Photo: Val-d’Or Foreurs goaltender and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Antoine Bibeau was dealt from the Charlottetown Islanders to the Foreurs in late December, with Bibeau assuming the starting role with his new club (courtesy of Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images)
"Don't call it a comeback, I've been here for years…"
Although the QMJHL is a long way from its 1990's heyday, when it regularly knocked out similar junior leagues when it came to the development of NHL goaltending prospects, the league currently boasts nine netminders who have been drafted or signed by NHL clubs. This number was bolstered by a bumper crop of five current QMJHL goalies drafted in the 2013 NHL Draft.
Photo: Boston College goaltender and 2014 prospect Thatcher Demko has turned in a stellar freshman season between the pipes for the Eagles, a season that he and his teammates hope will end with a national championship (courtesy of Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
As the 2013-14 season progresses, the order at the top of the ISS Hockey 2014 NHL Draft rankings seems to have further solidified. Case in point: the top five prospects in the March rankings is the same order as the top five from the February rankings.
Goaltender Philippe Desrosiers is the Hockey’s Future Prospect of the Month for February after posting a 9-0 record and 0.94 goals against average with Rimouski Oceanic. (courtesy of Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
Rimouski Océanic goaltender and Dallas Stars prospect Philippe Desrosiers is the Hockey's Future February Prospect of the Month. A second round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, Desrosiers went 9-0, allowed only eight goals, and established a new QMJHL record with three consecutive shutouts.
Photo: Barrie Colts defenseman and 2014 prospect Aaron Ekblad is scoring at a point-per-game pace so far in the 2013-14 season, posting 19 goals and 24 assists in 43 games (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
ISS Hockey has released their February rankings for the 2014 NHL Draft, with the upper portion of those rankings looking very familiar.
The top six prospects from last month's rankings are the same six players holding down those slots in this month's list. And in fact, the players are ranked exactly as they were in January, so the ISS view of the draft's top prospects seems to be more settled as the 2013-14 regular season heads towards its conclusion.
Photo: Rimouski Oceanic defenseman and Philadelphia Flyers prospect Samuel Morin saw action with the Flyers during the 2013 preseason after having been drafted by the club 11th overall at the 2013 NHL Draft (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Although recent graduates of the QMJHL include defensemen like Simon Despres and David Savard, as well as up-and-coming prospects like Xavier Ouellet and Nathan Beaulieu, the league does not have a reputation as being a breeding ground for defenders.