NOJHL Notebook: Alumnus Katchouk & Cormier selected in NHL Draft



Release Date: Monday, June 27 2016

Photo credits: Katchouk (NHL Images); Cormier (Bruce Bennett, Getty Images); Wildcats (Alex D’Addese, OJHL Images)

NOJHL Notebook: Alumnus Katchouk & Cormier selected in NHL Draft
Wildcats win TEP tourney; Blais commits to Wisconsin-Superior; Exhibition games announced

SUDBURY, Ont. – Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League alumnus Boris Katchouk and Evan Cormier were among those selected during the 2016 NHL Draft held over the weekend in Buffalo, N.Y.

Katchouk, a former member of the Soo Thunderbirds, was chosen in the second round, 44th overall, by the Tampa Bay Lightning while ex-North Bay Trappers netminder Cormier was drafted with the 14th pick of the fourth round, 105th overall, by the New Jersey Devils.

In 29 games with the Thunderbirds in 2015-16 Katchouk amassed 45 points on 18 goals and 25 assists.

He also went on to add 15 points in the club’s playoff run to the NOJHL title.

The 18-year-old, who calls Waterloo, Ont., home also had six points, including three tallies, in helping Sault Ste. Marie capture the Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canada Jr. A championship and also picked up two assists for the T-Birds at the RBC Cup.

As for Cormier, the 18-year-old netminder from Bowmanville, Ont., spent the 2013-14 campaign manning the nets for the then North Bay Trappers where he was the youngest player in the NOJHL.

Facing more shots than any goaltender in the league at 1,310, Cormier finished fifth in save percentage at .910.

He played the second most minutes of any stopper in the NOJHL at just over 1,915 and represented the league at both the Summer Select Showcase and the Central Canada Cup Challenge.

For his on-ice efforts Cormier was named a second team NOJHL all-star in goal.

TEP CHAMPS: Featuring a line-up of current and future prospects, a squad of Elliot Lake Wildcats players have returned home with the championship trophy from the Toronto Elite Prospects tournament held over the weekend.

The Elliot Lake side went a perfect 8-0 in competition that featured a 3-2 double overtime triumph over the Markham Royals in the title contest Sunday afternoon.

Led by Wildcats head coach Nathan Hewitt behind the bench, the Elliot Lake side allowed just five goals against en route to the championship.

The club came out on top among the 32 teams that were competing at the event boasting a roster that featured nine current members of the Wildcats along with nine newly signed players and prospects.

UWS BOUND: Liam Blais of the Elliot Lake Wildcats is the latest member of the NOJHL to commit to a NCAA program.

The 20-year-old Uxbridge, Ont., native will attend the University of Wisconsin-Superior and skate for the Yellowjackets men’s hockey program in the fall.

In 79 career NOJHL games with Elliot Lake, Blais supplied 32 goals and 30 assists for 62 points, which included personal single season bests in all three categories in 2015-16.

He also picked up nine points, including five tallies in 21 postseason contests.

“Playing for the Wildcats the last two seasons gave me an opportunity to play for a great organization and to move on to the next level,” offered Blais.

“Everything from the coaching staff, to the trainers, to the billets and the most dedicated fans in the league made it a great two years in Elliot Lake that I will never forget,” added the Wildcats assistant captain.

“On behalf of the Elliot Lake Wildcats we are so happy for Liam,” stated Elliot Lake general manager Todd Stencill.

“He is a first class young man that did so much for our program both on and off the ice,” summarized the Wildcats GM.

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE: A pair of NOJHL preseason games are already on the league’s upcoming exhibition schedule.

The French River Rapids will take on the Espanola Express on Friday, Aug. 26 at the Regional Recreation Complex in Espanola. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

The two sides will then meet again in a neutral site contest in Sturgeon Falls the following evening, Saturday, Aug. 27, in another 7:30 p.m. start.

Future exhibition games will be announced once they are finalized and confirmed by the league office.

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