Something special is brewing in Cape Breton. Don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret, well until you see them play that is.
With all the attention recently surrounding Maritimes Division rivals the Moncton Wildcats and the addition of Jeremy McKenna and Axel Andersson to their line up, it just seems the Cape Breton Eagles are flying under the radar.
That’s exactly how they like it.
The Eagles are seldomly mentioned when discussing the QMJHL top teams or teams looking to load up for a run at the President Cup.
Nevertheless, the Eagles under new ownership and new guidance behind the bench are quietly going about their business winning hockey games and turning heads in the process.
So just how good are the Cape Breton Eagles?
Well that’s an easy question to answer, they are an exceptional hockey club, built to play any style of game that comes their way.
Quite frankly they have all the makings of a championship team.
So is this there year?
Is this the year that the Eagles go all in?
I realize the season is young, just seven games old, but the Eagles definitely possess what it takes to be a championship contender, but there’s a sense surrounding the team that they don’t necessarily want to sell the farm to be a one year wonder.
I guess time will tell, but if you want to watch a fantastic hockey club play the game watch the Cape Breton Eagles.
No Fancy Nicknames
The Cape Breton Eagles have arguably the top line in the QMJHL in Egor Sokolov, Ryan Francis and Shawn Boudrias.
Clearly that trio doesn’t need any fancy nicknames to know how lethal they can be.
Everyone in the game of hockey wants to give catchy nicknames to effective high scoring lines.
I get it, it’s part of the games fabric and tradition, but that trio doesn’t need it and from a far don’t seem like the players that would want it for that matter.
They just come to play every night.
Bourdrais and Sokolov are just plain mean to play against, while Francis is just flat out exceptional. Together they have it all, skill, size, speed, hockey sense and scoring touch, oh yeah, did I mention they are mean to.
You see the Eagles top line resembles their entire team, highly skilled, physical, fast and relentless on the puck.
The Eagles really do have it all.
From top to bottom, they are built to win hockey games.
So why don’t they go all in like their counter parts tonight the Moncton Wildcats?
Well why jeopardize something that could be really special in a year or two for an uncalculated run now?
That’s a question that the new management group will have to ask when the time comes, but don’t worry that’s a great problem to have.
So for now they Eagles will have to remain a dark horse team or the underdog, either way I wouldn’t want to face them in the playoffs.
Another underrated and overlooked strength of the Cape Breton Eagles is their depth.
They have a ton of it.
The organization has done an extraordinary job drafting over the past few years.
Recently a very well respected player agent who has several players across the CHL told me that they believe Jacques Carriere has one of the best eyes for talent in the entire QMJHL.
That’s very high praise, but it’s true.
Carriere and the Eagles scouting staff did a fantastic job building the current team from the net out and really have the luxury of deciding to go all in or being patient, but for now the Eagles do have a legit shot at player for a championship.
Ok I know we are only seven games into the season, but one just has to look at their depth at the backend to appreciate how close they really are.
Jarrett Baker, Adam McCormick, Nathan Larose, Kyle Havlena, Antoine Crete-Belzile, Jeremy Langlois, Alex Falardeau, Matthew Lint and Logan Kelly-Murphy.
The Cape Breton Eagles have a plethora of highly skilled defenders that can also play any style of game and do whatever it takes to win. Unfortunately Crete-Belzile is out until the mid-way point of the season, nevertheless, by that point the Eagles will definitely know the direction and intention of the team.
Wait and be patient and hope you have enough for a long playoff run or load up and go all in. Crete-Belzile’s health will drastically effect that decision.
Great puck movers, elite level skaters and a ton of jam, basically sums up the Eagles backend.
Oh yeah they also have a top tier netminder that has really come into his own over the past two seasons.
Kevin Mandolese, is a star, and has the potential to steal hockey games or a playoff series every time he steps on the ice.
Depth, grit, push back, compete, skill, speed and determination.
That’s the Cape Breton Eagles.
So how good are the Cape Breton Eagles? You be the judge, all you have to do is just watch them play one game, you will have your answer pretty quick!