The Saint John Sea Dogs made 17 picks during last Saturday’s QMJHL entry draft in Shawinigan, QC with one pick being especially popular with New Brunswick hockey fans. Joshua Lawrence of Fredericton, NB was selected 15th overall by Saint John, who used their 3rd pick of the 1st round to nab the high scoring centreman. Joshua played the 2017-18 season with Selects Hockey Academy 16U out of South Kent, Connecticut where he led the team in scoring with 27 goals, 56 assists and 83 points.
“I am very excited to have the opportunity to play for the Sea Dogs” said Lawrence. “They have great coaches, great management, and they have a history of being one of the best major junior programs in Canada.”
Joshua had previously been committed to Boston University of the NCAA, but still found himself atop most scouting lists for the 2018 QMJHL Entry Draft. He was not the only player to decommit before finding his way to the Sea Dogs organization. Charlie Desroches of PEI is a friend and South Kent roommate of Lawrence who was also drafted to the Sea Dogs on Saturday, with their 2nd round pick (32nd overall). Desroches had previously been committed to Northeastern University. Also rooming with Charlie and Joshua in South Kent, CT is Sea Dogs #1 overall pick for the QMJHL US Entry Draft, forward Jack Williams. Williams is currently committed to Northeastern University of the NCAA.
“We are demonstrating our ability to attract and retain elite talent north of the border. We are very pleased with Josh’s decision and his commitment he has made to us” continued Georgie. “Head Coach Josh Dixon and Assistant GM & Head Scout Anthony Stella put a lot of work into making this a reality. Saint John native JP Barry along with his team at CAA have been champions of our city and our program. Obviously, JP is familiar with Josh Dixon (from his time at CAA) and has great confidence in what he can do with young players.”
Lawrence and Desroches are key pieces that make up the core of 16-year-old talent drafted to the Sea Dogs. Defensemen William Villeneuve and Jeremie Poirier were chosen with Saint John’s first two picks in the 1st round, 2nd and 8th overall respectively. Drafted at 15th overall Lawrence was seen by many as a steal to be taken that late in the first round. Due to his previous commitment to the NCAA he was still available when it came time for the Sea Dog’s third pick of the 1st round.
“We are thrilled to have Josh and his family join our Sea Dogs family” said Sea Dogs President & General Manager Trevor Georgie. “He is an elite offensive talent. He is a local rising star who has decided to commit to us, to his home province, and to the best developmental league in the world – the Canadian Hockey League.”
Joshua will join the Sea Dogs for development camp later this month.
“The Sea Dogs are close to home and I am very excited to get a chance to play major junior hockey right here in New Brunswick” said Lawrence. “I am very happy they selected me and can’t wait until training camp starts.