Joey Veleno has been given exception player status, which is a first for the QMJHL
Photo: Kathy Kocur
15-year-old Joey Veleno was given exceptional status by Hockey Canada Thursday evening. Veleno will now, barring a major surprise, be drafted 1st overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League on Saturday.
The Saint John Sea Dogs hold the first overall selection and will be selecting the Quebec native. Veleno is the first player to ever be given “exceptional status” for the QMJHL Draft. The OHL is the last league to do this when they gave exceptional status to Mississauga Steelheads forward, Sean Day.
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Veleno has been playing in the QMAAA with the Lac St-Louis Lions. In his last season, Veleno scored 52 points in 41 games. He will be eligible for the 2018 NHL Draft and, as of right now, he will be contending for the 1st overall selection in that draft.
The Sea Dogs have already met with his family and are ready to make the selection. The news would not have come at such surprise if it were not for the fact that Hockey Canada giving him status a day before the QMJHL Draft.
Connor McDavid, John Tavares, and Aaron Ekblad join Day and Veleno as prospects who have been granted exceptional status.
Here is an iso-video of Joey Veleno from THockeyProspect.com