Moncton was pretty heavily favored going into the playoffs, and that was back when the Wildcats had a certain Kirill Kabanov on the roster. However, even with the loss of the mercurial Russian, this team just has a terrific mix of veterans and youth, including Kelsey Tessier and goaltender Nicola Riopel. 2010 draft eligibles Brandon Gormley and Marek Hrivik bring a lot of skill and upside to the mix for Moncton as well.
For St. John, Russian forward Stanlislav Galiev is the most identified name for the draft on the Sea Dogs' roster. He's small, but an extremely fast waterbug-type player who is a deft playmaker but needs to work on his overall game.
Gormley is one of the top defensemen available in this class; a superb two-way presence and former top QMJHL draft pick who has a lot of upside. In some circles, he's right there with the more publicized Cam Fowler. Luckily for the Bruins, by virtue of their place at the table in the top-two selections, they won't be forced to make the tough choice between any one of Gormley, Fowler and Kingston horse Eric Gudbranson. Of course, that's assuming Peter Chiarelli doesn't figure out a way to trade up inside the top-10 to land one of the top defenders in the draft. While that's a possibility, it may be in the "too hard to do" block for the Bruins GM.
So, the Maritimes have to be thrilled with the way things have shaken out for these teams. We saw them face each other to close out the QMJHL season, so now, there's sure to be a much more intense rematch of two very skilled teams who match up nicely.