Last we heard of American prospect Brandon Shea, he had quit the Moncton Wildcats to return home. Not home as in, the USA. He was out of NCAA eligibility after having played with the CHL, and had previously come to the CHL after ducking out of his Boston University commitment. All Shea could do was be hopeful that a team would be willing to take a flyer on him at some point during the offseason.
And that appears to have happened today. According to a report, the Wildcats have come to an agreement with Quebec to send Shea to the Remparts for a 3rd-round pick. The QMJHL trade window doesn't open until August, so there won't be an official announcement until then:
This makes for an interesting turn.
The basis for this report comes from Stéphane Pacquette of l'Acadie Nouvelle. The full text of the report can be found at Mathew Lemontagne's blog (translation mine):
According to various rumours around Québec, the American forward Brandon Shea is going to continue his career with the Québec Remparts. In return, Moncton would receive a third-round draft selection.
Monday, Remparts' assistant general manager Jean Gagnon could not confirm a transaction had taken player, much like Danny Flynn, Wildcats director of hockey operations.
"The trading period is closed just until August 1st. I can tell you that Shea has asked for a trade and we're doing everything we can do accommodate him. Nothing can be announced until the 1st of August," said Flynn.
Update—I've been told that Paquette was also the one to break the story of Shea leaving Moncton in the first place.
This isn't terrific asset management for Moncton, as they gave up three picks for the rights to pick Shea in the first place and got just over a half season out of the NCAA defect before he decided that he wasn't being used correctly with the Wildcats. Flynn, who also acts as Moncton's head coach, was backed into a pretty tight spot.
However, so was Shea. Since he shrugged off the NCAA after the QMJHL trading window, all he could do was sit and wait. It's probably not the best idea for prospects attempting to endear themselves to pro clubs to bolt out of a couple of commitments early on in their careers.
Shea's offence will need to pick up. Even for a 16-year old, 10 points in 45 games aren't the huge offensive numbers that make people think "future star". No doubt, if the kid has talent, that Patrick Roy will know how to use him, so this could be a story worth following in the near future. The Remparts are set to lose at least about 80 goals to pro hockey next season, and more if Mikhail Grigorenko turns pro with the Buffalo Sabres.
If the rumours are true, it also means the Remparts have found their way around the "we can't recruit players North because we can't match their scholarships with the limit" hurdle. Just let other teams do it for them.