Patrick Charbonneau isn’t spoiling the drama around the first pick in Sherbrooke Phoenix franchise history.
The rookie general manager has the No. 1 overall pick in Saturday’s QMJHL draft in Quebec City, and although he already knows who he’s picking, he would only reveal on Friday that it will be either No. 1-ranked Daniel Audette or third-ranked Alexis Pepin.
“We don’t want to say who’s going to be the pick before we get there,” said Charbonneau, the QMJHL’s former director of scouting. “For the past month, we’ve been saying it will either be Audette or Pepin, and we’re still saying it will be one of the two.”
Both Audette and Pepin are forwards and Audette would appear to be the guy. The five-foot-seven centre is the “easy choice” for No. 1 according to QMJHL director of scouting Pierre Leduc. The son of ex-NHLer Donald Audette had 60 points in 39 games for Esther-Blondin of the Quebec midget AAA circuit and is loaded with offensive talent.
The six-foot-two Pepin had 22 goals and 18 assists for 40 points in 38 games with Charles-Lemoyne in the same league and plays more of a pro style, according to Leduc.
“We’ve made up our mind and we’re ready to make the pick,” Charbonneau said. “We’re now working on other stuff because our decision is made on first overall.”