Three Northeastern hockey recruits were selected in the 2017 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft on Saturday. If these players chosen to go the Major Junior route, that would make them immediately ineligible for NCAA play, thus ending their chances to play for the Huskies. Traditionally, the players selected in the latter rounds of the draft are viewed as less likely to go this route, and more likely to play in leagues like the United States Hockey League and then honor their college commitments. Luckily for Northeastern, all three players were selected in round 12 of the 14-round draft.
Jeremie Bucheler was the first player selected, at 213th overall in the 12th round by Shawinigin. This is a stark contrast from 2016, where Bucheler was selected in the first round by Blainville-Boisbriand. This is the second time he was drafted, as Blainville-Boisbriand vacated their rights to get back a compensation pick at the end of the first round. I have to imagine that this drop in his QMJHL stock is a sign that teams seem to think he will likely honor his verbal and play in the NCAA, which is great news for the Huskies. Bucheler was a 3rd round pick in the 2016 USHL draft. He is a tall, very skilled puck-moving defenseman, and his commitment was seen as a major coup for Jim Madigan and his staff. In the 2016-17 season, Bucheler played in 40 total games, accumulating 32 points (5 goals, 27 assists). We examined Bucheler as a prospect in his commitment post HERE.
Jayden Struble went to Blainville-Boisbriand immediately after Bucheler was selected. Struble played in 49 games this season for both Nobles and Greenough and the Cape Cod Whalers U16 team, and the left-shot defenseman put up 32 points (10 goals, 22 assists). I have not heard any inkling of Struble considering any route other than the NCAA. Struble is a raw athlete whose upside is tremendous, and projects to be a major force for the Huskies. He was a 3rd round pick in the USHL draft this year. We profiled him HERE.
Lastly, and honestly the player that I feel is by far the least likely to go the Major Junior route out of all three Huskies recruits, Robby Griffin was chosen 219th overall by the St. John Sea Dogs. The right-shot forward is coming off a stellar season, where in 43 games for the Junior Bruins U16 team, he put up 70 points, including 20 goals and 50 assists. His speed and playmaking abilities have been acclaimed ever since he committed to the Huskies. A second round pick in the USHL draft, he is one player that appears to be well on his way to going to the USHL before making his arrival at Matthews Arena.
In closing, while these situations will be ones to monitor, as a player may choose to sign with Major Junior for any reason at any time, the fact that all three players were chosen so late in the draft is a good sign for the Huskies in their hopes to keep them in the pipeline. Bucheler in particular is one that will be watched closely, since he is Canadian and had a previously high stock in the QMJHL draft. For now, Huskies fans can rest easy.
You can see our whole projection for the Huskies recruiting pipeline HERE.