The Saint John Sea Dogs have signed forward Dawson Stairs. Stairs participated earlier this month in Hockey Canada’s U17 Development Camp. He was one of six Sea Dogs invited to the Camp, the most of any team in the Canadian Hockey League.
The power forward from Fredericton was selected in the 7th round, 109th overall by the Sea Dogs but was ranked the 26th best prospect according to the final QMJHL Central Scouting List. Stairs had intentions to pursue the NCAA path until making his commitment to the Port City team.
“This came as a complete surprise” said Sea Dogs President & General Manager, Trevor Georgie. “Elated. Ecstatic. Excited. We are thrilled that Dawson has decided to commit to the Saint John Sea Dogs. He has had a great camp and has shown flashes of a great future in our league. He wants to be part of what we are building here in Saint John, and the feeling is mutual. Dawson is a Sea Dog.”
Stairs who played locally last season at Rothesay Netherwood School (RNS) will complete his 2018-2019 season with South Kent Selects Academy in the United States. He will be an affiliate player for the Sea Dogs due to QMJHL restrictions limiting the number of full-time 16-year-old players a team can have on their roster. He will play his first QMJHL exhibition game tonight against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan and will also be joining the team throughout the season for practices, select games, and training.
“It is an honor to join such a great organization” said Stairs. “Obviously the Sea Dogs had a tremendous draft and in two to three years’ time, this group is going to be an amazing team. It’s somewhere hockey players want to play.”
“Thank you Trevor Georgie, Anthony Stella, as well as Josh Dixon and his coaching staff for being so accommodating and welcoming” continued Stairs. “I would also like to thank Allain Roy and Marc Lavigne from RSG Hockey and of course my parents for their love and support through all of this. It has been a crazy few days. It’s a crazy moment. Dream come true. I was meant to be a Sea Dog.“
With the signing of Stairs, the Sea Dogs now have six of the top 30 ranked prospects from the 2018 QMJHL Draft: William Villeneuve (Rank 2), Jeremie Poirier (Rank 4), Josh Lawrence (Rank 6), Brady Burns (Rank 25), Dawson Stairs (Rank 26), and Charlie Desroches (Rank 30). This does not include goalie Mathias Savoie who also attended Hockey Canada’s U17 Development Camp.
“20% is a big number “, said Georgie. “For us to have 20% of the top 30 ranked prospects from this past Draft is certainly something to be excited about. I am not sure if it has been done before in the QMJHL, maybe even the CHL. We are very proud of the hard work that we have done here and now we just need to be patient. It’s a process and our fans know that.”