Every year, the battle for the Memorial Cup is a delight full of wild twists and turns. After the deadline, the playoff picture and league favourites start to make themselves known and become much clearer. I’ve decided to rank the teams in each of the three leagues based on their chances of making it to the Memorial Cup. I’ve also put the teams into tiers to give a better perspective rather than only numerical rankings.
The QMJHL has been incredible to follow along with all season. From dominant teams rumbling through the league to a star-studded trade deadline and to what looks like a stacked 2003 draft class, this season has given fans plenty to enjoy.
With few middle-of-the-pack teams this year, it was easy to separate the contenders from the pretenders on this list. With two stacked Quebec teams gunning for a championship and a third hosting the Memorial Cup, the QMJHL has an excellent chance to take home another national championship.
Keep in mind, this is a ranking for the likelihood of winning the President’s Cup. These rankings don’t necessarily reflect recent performance but rather the team as a whole.
Rouyn-Noranda Huskies: 49-7-1 (Tier 1)
The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies have been lights out all season. They added some big pieces at the deadline to stack their team even more. The Huskies have allowed ~2 goals against per game this season, an unseen number in junior hockey. Riding a current 19 game winning streak, the Huskies are the clear favourite to win the Q, but they will not be without competition.
Drummondville Voltigeurs: 44-10-3 (Tier 1)
The high-flying Voltigeurs can fill the net night in and night out. Scoring 5.21 goals per game, they have the top offense in the entire CHL. Maxime Comtois and Joe Veleno lead an attack in which all four lines contribute to the scoring efforts. Their +144 goal differential speaks volumes about how good this team can be.
Halifax Mooseheads: 42-12-3 (Tier 2)
As hosts of the Memorial Cup, Halifax has already punched their ticket. Still, they are going to challenge for the QMJHL championship. Making some big moves at the deadline, Halifax is locked and loaded. An impressive group of defensemen should ensure them a successful run in the playoffs.
Rimouski Oceanic: 38-17-3 (Tier 2)
Rimouski has been extremely hot lately, recently boasting an 11 game win streak. Superstar prospect Alexis Lafreniere has been downright unstoppable. With a solid “D” corps and goalie Colten Ellis on his game, Rimouski is a tough team to play against. They have allowed 126 goals against this season, which is second in the QMJHL.
Baie-Comeau Drakkar: 40-14-3 (Tier 2)
Baie-Comeau is a model hockey team from top to bottom. Shark’s prospect Ivan Chekhovich leads an offense that can produce goals in bunches. Baie-Comeau currently places fourth in the QMJHL standings, winning 40 of 56 games up to this point. If things go according to plan, they should a challenge for a trip to the MasterCard Memorial Cup.
Sherbrooke Phoenix: 34-21-2 (Tier 3)
While Sherbrooke has a playoff quality team this season, they are still a young team who is not going to peak this season. Of course, they could do some damage in the upcoming postseason, but Sherbrooke will be a top contender in 2019-20, led by the likes of Samuel Poulin and Patrick Guay.
Cape Breton Screaming Eagles: 33-19-5 (Tier 3)
The Screaming Eagles made some big additions to bolster their lineup for a playoff run, adding Derek Gentile, Shawn Boudrias as well as defensemen Nathan Larose. This season, Cape Breton has proved that they are capable of playing with the best. While they aren’t as good as Drummondville or the Rouyn-Nouranda Huskies, Cape Breton is a well balanced team who could certainly go far in the playoffs.
Charlottetown Islanders: 32-18-7 (Tier 3)
Despite being a top-half team this year, the Islanders decided to sell at the deadline, shipping out two-way star defensemen Pierre-Olivier Joseph and high-scoring forwards Gentile and Getson. Despite these moves and with the help of Jordan Maher, the Islanders have continued to win games down the stretch.
Moncton Wildcats: 31-19-7 (Tier 3)
After a dominant stretch early in the season, the Moncton Wildcats have been a team that has trailed off considerably. With star forwards Jakob Pelletier and Jeremy McKenna up front, there is no doubt the Wildcats can score a lot, but they simply are not up to par defensively to be put in the same class as the top teams on this list.
Chicoutimi Saguenéens: 30-20-7 (Tier 3)
The Saguenéens, to some surprise, have been a winning team this year. The Saguenéens are also a very young team with future league stars Hendrix Lappiere and Theo Rochette in the fold. When focusing on this year only, Chicoutimi has a legitimate chance to uproot teams who are ranked ahead.
Victoriaville Tigres: 25-29-4 (Tier 4)
With a 25-29-4 record this season, the Tigres have stayed afloat despite losing what seems like their entire roster from last year’s successful campaign. New imports Egor Serdyuk and Mikhail Abramov have contributed mightily to the Tigres’ efforts this season.
Quebec Remparts: 23-22-12 (Tier 4)
The Quebec Remparts have yet to win a playoff round since their Memorial Cup year in 2015. Winning only 23 out of 57 games this season, there is little reason to be optimistic about the team putting an end to that streak. Swiss forward Philip Kurashev carries the bulk of the load offensively for the Remparts.
Gatineau Olympiques: 21-31-5 (Tier 4)
Gatineau held a fire sale throughout the season, moving on from five core players. The Olympiques understand that it is time to move on and acquire pieces for the future. As for their current chances, they will likely make the playoffs, but it is not going to be pretty.
Val-D’or Foreurs: 20-32-5 (Tier 4)
The Foreurs are in the midst of their third straight losing season, this time sitting fourth last in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Although they will likely be in the playoffs, their chances of making it through a tough first round opponent are rather slim.
Blainville-Boisbriand Armada: 19-36-2 (Tier 5)
After a successful 2017-18 campaign, the Armada did not get off to an ideal start. They decided to cut their losses, make some trades and ultimately look onwards to the future. They have steadily slipped in the standings ever since and find themselves near the bottom of the league standings respectively.
Shawinigan Cataractes: 14-39-4 (Tier 5)
There has not been much to cheer about for the Cataractes this season as the losses have only continued to pile up for Shawinigan. However, led by top rookies Mavrik Bourque and Valentin Nussbaumer, the Cataractes will head into next season optimistic about improving their record.
Saint John Sea Dogs: 12-41-4 (Tier 5)
Better days are ahead for the Sea Dogs who have the best group of ‘02s in the league. They have had a rough season this year but will be a much better team next year and even further into the future.
Acadie-Bathurst Titan: 7-46-4 (Tier 6)
After winning the Memorial Cup last season, the Acadie-Bathurst Titan find themselves in a completely different situation this season. They have traded everyone and anyone who played an important role in their successes last season and have now lost a total of up to eighteen consecutive games.