Cree player ranked as 1st round draft pick for QMJHL
Israel Mianscum takes MVP title at tournament of top players from Quebec, Maritimes
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League scouts have ranked Mistissini's Israel Mianscum a first-round draft prospect heading into next month's QMJHL draft in Quebec City, which some say is a first for a Cree player in Quebec.
Mianscum has been ranked 18th overall out of the top 120 QMJHL prospects from across Quebec, the Maritimes and the eastern United States, according to a ranking from the QMJHL Central Scouting, released last week and leading into the June 8 draft in Quebec City.
"If it's not the first time, it's definitely one of the rare times," said Carl Bouchard, director of central scouting for the QMJHL, whose team of nine scouts studied thousands of players in the Quebec Midget AAA and Midget Espoir leagues, as well as AAA leagues in the Maritimes.
The QMJHL scouts also follow tournaments and school leagues in Quebec and the Maritimes.
The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is a stepping stone to the National Hockey League for young players.
Mianscum played this past season with les Forestiers d'Amos, a midget AAA team in Amos, Que., where he ended the season second in the team standings despite missing seven games.
Mianscum also performed very well at the Gatorade Excellence Challenge in April, a tournament organized by the QMJHL to bring all the top prospects together to play against one another.
"Israel was very, very good during the Gatorade Challenge," said Bouchard. "He showed a passion for the game. He was consistent."
Mianscum lead the tournament in points, with seven goals and six assists in five games. His team, Quebec Bleu, won the event and Mianscum was chosen most valuable player of the tournament.
It's unbelievable what he did- Tiffany Neeposh-Mianscum, mother
"Israel's performance was outstanding from the beginning to the end of the tournament," said his mother Tiffany Neeposh-Mianscum. "[It's] unbelievable what he did."
Neeposh-Mianscum says Israel is feeling good and is spending the next several weeks training in Montreal.
He is also preparing for interviews with several QMJHL teams in the lead-up to the draft.
"He's doing well and he's confident," said Neeposh-Mianscum.