Les Canadiennes Go Local in 2017 CWHL Draft

Concordia’s Tracy-Ann Lavigne Picked in Tenth Round of RSEQ Filled Draft Class

  • The 2017 CWHL Draft was held Sunday afternoon in Toronto. Courtesy Chris Tanouye

The pool of available prospects for Sunday afternoon’s Canadian Women’s Hockey League draft featured six players who formerly competed for the Réseau du Sport Étudiant du Québec schools.

All six of them were taken by the local Montreal Canadiennes.

The first to hear her name called was Valleyfield native and former McGill Martlet centre Mélodie Daoust, who was taken with the fourth overall pick. In the second round, they drafted Université de Montréal Carabins defender Laurence Beaulieu.

The defending Clarkson Cup champions backed up their first two RSEQ picks by taking former Ottawa Gee Gees goaltender Emilie Bouchard in the fifth round, and former Concordia Stingers’ team captain Tracy-Ann Lavigne in the eighth. Lavigne will be reunited with her collegiate head coach, Julie Chu, in the Canadiennes’ lineup.

In the tenth round, Montreal selected a second former Gee Gee in winger Cindy Laurin and went with another former Carabin in centre Lore Baudrit in the eleventh.

Unlike the Canadiennes’ 2016 draft class, this one is made up entirely of players who played their college careers in Canada. Their two top picks in the 2016 draft were Sarah Lefort from Boston University and Cassandra Poudrier from Cornell. They would also go on to select Amanda Makela of Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania.

The Canadiennes’ mining of the local talent fields went beyond the RSEQ and into other U Sports leagues. They picked University of Windsor players Natalie Barrette and Erinn Noseworthy in the third round and fourth rounds, respectively.

University of Prince Edward Island goaltender Marie-Soleil Deschênes was Montreal’s ninth round pick. In the 12th round, they chose goaltender Shayna Dominique, who last played for the Ottawa Muskies of the National Capital Women’s Hockey League.

With the recent acquisition of defenders Nachi Fujimoto and Maggie DiMassi from the Boston Blades in exchange for their sixth and seventh round picks, this year’s draft class is smaller than those of other teams in the league. Still, the newly minted Canadiennes will be looked on to help their team defend their Clarkson Cup title from a year ago.

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