WEB ONLY: Local players vying for QMJHL roster spots

Nolan Boyd and Ryan Francis are two locals who went to their respective teams training camps. Francis is on the team, while Boyd has been reassigned to Grand Falls by the Isles. (Healey file photo)

FALL RIVER: Three hockey players from the Fall River area remain on the rosters of their respective Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) teams as training camps head into a short hiatus before the regular season begins in late September.

While three have had success, one was a late cut from their team’s camp and will head to upper N.B. for junior A with the hopes of being recalled sooner than later.

Jonathan Pickrem of Windsor Junction (Submitted photo)

Andrew Coxhead of Fall River; Jonathan Pickrem of Windsor Junction; and Beaver Bank’s Ryan Francis continue to showcase their talent for the 2018-2019 season.

Fall River’s Nolan Boyd was one of four remaining goalies in the camp with the Charlottetown Islanders, but unfortunately he and the other goalie both were reassigned as the Isles decided to go with the two they had from last year.

In Boyd’s last game, he came on in relief and stopped 17 of 19 shots in a 5-3 loss to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

For the pre-season, Boyd surrendered seven goals on 40 shots. He is now in Grand Falls, N.B. working to earn a spot with the Jr A Rapids, formerly the Woodstock Slammers.

Francis has a goal and assist and is a plus-3 after three games with Cape Breton, and looks to be on the top two lines in his second season with the club.

No stats were available for Coxhead, a Quebec Rempart.

Andrew Coxhead of the Remparts. (Healey photo)

While Coxhead and Francis’ picture appears to be clear as to what the teams think of the forwards, Pickrem’s situation with the Mooseheads is a little more murkier.

Pickrem, a Valley Wildcats prospect of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League, is one of three goalies left in camp with the hometown Halifax Mooseheads, who will host the 2019 Memorial Cup. The others in camp are probable number 1 Alex Gravel and Cole McLaren, another prospect from the Wildcats.

Gravel is set to head off to the training camp of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks in early September, so that will see McLaren and Pickrem get to showcase their talents in real game action.

A decision on who gets the backup role is expected when Gravel returns, should the NHL club send him back which many expect will happen.

In pre-season play to date, Pickrem has done quite well and has earned the opportunity to stick with the Moose. His stats show him stopping 13 of 16 shots he faced in an overtime loss to Cape Breton. That was his lone game action to date.

The Moose announced six cuts on Aug. 29, and Pickrem was among those. He is expected to be recalled next week when Gravel leaves for Chicago.