St. Stephen Aces Jr. A Hockey Club

Busy Draft Day for Aces

Cody Grant (Photo from

The Aces showed at the MHL entry draft that they are a team that’s building for long-term success

Aces trade first overall, stock up with 13 picks in MHL draftCAMPBELLTON – The County Aces traded the first overall pick as well as roster player Damon MacDonald and drafted 13 players, including two St. Stephen natives, in an eventful Maritime Hockey League draft on Saturday, June 13 in Campbellton.“We’re very pleased with our picks,” said General Manager Eric Bissonnette. “We want to establish a tradition of excellence for years to come. We’re building for the future.”Sticking to that plan meant drafting five 1999-born players who all have at least one more year of midget eligibility.The Aces also drafted some hometown players, using their final two picks to add Joseph Dempsey and Alex McGaw, both of St. Stephen. Dempsey played with the Saint John Vitos Midget AAA club last season while McGaw played with Tilton School, a prep school in New Hampshire.Bissonnette said trading MacDonald was a tough decision. He had 17 goals and 14 assists in 45 games with the Aces last season. He was traded to the South Shore Lumberjacks in exchange for second and fourth round picks in both 2015 and 2016.“Sometimes in order to get something you have to give up something good,” Bissonnette said. “Trading Damon was a difficult decision. We love the player and even more, we love the person.”He said the four draft picks the Aces acquired show MacDonald’s high value and will help the club long into the future.“Damon’s contribution to the Aces organization goes far beyond the one season he played with us. It will be measured for years to come.”Bissonnette also said he’s happy MacDonald is going to a “first-class organization in South Shore.”The Aces traded the first overall pick and a 2016 seventh round pick to the Valley Wildcats in exchange for 2016 first and second round picks and two third round picks in 2015.The Aces also traded this year’s fourth round pick to the Amherst Ramblers in exchange for the rights of F Peter Woulds.With their first pick of the draft, in the second round, the Aces selected D Cody Grant from the Halifax McDonald’s Midget AAA.Prior to the entry draft, the QMJHL Supplementary Draft was held and the Aces acquired the Maritime Hockey League rights to Saint John Sea Dogs forward Mitchell Dempsey.“We’re exciting to own the MHL rights to Mitchell. The organization is going to work hard to hopefully have him suiting up this upcoming season,” Bissonnette said.Four other Aces draft picks have also been drafted by QMJHL teams. Cody Grant and Ben Reid are both Saint John Sea Dogs draft picks while Dominik Reid was drafted by the Charlottetown Islanders and Alex Arab is a Rouyn-Noranda Huskies draft pick.“We’re excited to have Sea Dogs prospects in our organization,” Bissonnette said. “It’s a good fit to have players here, only an hour away from their major junior team in Saint John.”

Here are the Aces 2015 draft picks:

  • Cody Grant, D, Halifax McDonald’s Midget AAA
  • Ben Reid, F, Saint John Vitos
  • Dominik Reid, D, Ontario Hockey Academy
  • Walker Campbell, F, Miramichi Rivermen
  • Cole Easton, D, Fredericton Canadiens Midget AAA
  • Jack Ryan, G, Bishop College
  • Alex Arab, F, Cole Harbour Wolfpack
  • Pierre Bourgoin, F, Rothesay Netherwood School
  • Malcolm Arseneau, F, Northwood Prep
  • Levi Denny, G, Cape Breton West Islanders
  • Drew Stonehouse, F, St. John’s Maple Leafs
  • Joseph Dempsey, F, Saint John Vitos
  • Alex McGaw, D, Tilton School