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Professional signing tracker: Gee-Gees men’s hockey players going pro

Photo: Greg Kolz.
Photo: Greg Kolz.

Four years after welcoming their re-establishing recruiting class in 2016, the Gee-Gees men's hockey team now watches foundational players achieve their dream of playing professional hockey. 

With 18 fourth or fifth-years on the roster, as well as others completing their education, the Gee-Gees are set to see a large swath of their players sign professional contracts across the world.

This article will continue to be updated as each of the signings are announced.


Dominic Cormier
Defence
General Studies
Signed With: Reading Royals (United States – ECHL) 

Following a standout season with the Gee-Gees, defenseman Dominic Cormier is moving on for an opportunity to play professional hockey in North America with the Reading Royals of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL).

Cormier joined the Gee-Gees in 2019-20 after a strong four-year career in the QMJHL spent with the Rimouski Océanic and the Victoriaville Tigres. Consistently a strong playmaker from the blueline, Cormier posted a career-high 47 points (9 goals, 38 assists) in 66 games split between Rimouski and Victoriaville in 2017-18, adding eight more points in 14 games in the playoffs. In 2018-19, Cormier closed his major junior career with 44 points (12 goals, 32 assists) in 67 games with a nine-point postseason. Cormier served as an assistant captain with Rimouski as well as in his final year with Victoriaville.

Joining the Gee-Gees, Cormier immediately made a positive impact, adding a dynamic threat to the Ottawa blueline. In 27 regular season games, Cormier had three goals and 17 assists for 20 points, with only four penalty minutes all season. In the playoff run to the U SPORTS University Cup, Cormier added six assists to his total for the season. For his efforts, the Moncton, NB product was named to the OUA East's All-Rookie Team.

The Reading Royals are an affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (AHL) that play in Reading, Pennsylvania. The ECHL provides players the opportunity to showcase their talents in one of the two recognized minor leagues in the NHL's structure. Reading is the fifth-largest city in Pennsylvania, located about 95 km outside of Philadelphia, and the Royals play in the Santander Arena, which holds 7,160. The Royals sat in second-place in the North Division with a 37-17-6 record prior to the COVID-19 shutdown last season.


Médric Mercier
Defence
Criminology
Signed With: Glasgow Clan (Scotland) 

Médric Mercier also moves on to the pro hockey world, closing his three-year career with the Garnet and Grey. Mercier joins Jacob Sweeney and Quinn O'Brien in signing with the Glasgow Clan of the UK's Elite Ice Hockey League. Mercier was a key addition for the Gee-Gees in 2017, the Ottawa product played three full seasons in the OHL before returning home for his university career. 

Spending the majority of his OHL career with the Soo Greyhounds, Mercier suited up in 46 and 63 games in his two full years in Sault Ste. Marie. In 2016-17, he was traded to the Oshawa Generals after nine games. With his new team, Mercier experienced an offensive explosion posting an outstanding mark of 48 points in 58 games on 21 goals and 27 assists. Mercier led the OHL in goals by a defenseman with 22 overall. Following the 2016-17 season, Mercier moved on to an opportunity with the Columbus Blue Jackets of the NHL, however, he was eventually released in training camp which allowed him to move on to the University of Ottawa.

Mercier impressed in his first season with the Gee-Gees, maintaining a strong offensive presence as a defenseman. In 28 games, Mercier tallied 12 points on 7 goals and 5 assists, following the season, he was named to the OUA's All-Rookie Team. In 2018-19, Mercier continued his strong play with 15 points (6 goals, 9 assists) in 22 games. Last season, Mercier had 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) in 23 games, while adding two more goals in the playoff run to Nationals. 

The Glasgow Clan play in the UK's top hockey league, the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL). Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and one of the most populous and highly visited cities in the UK. Glasgow finished 19-26-3 last season and featured four former U SPORTS players on their roster.


Quinn O'Brien
Forward
Finance
Signed With: Glasgow Clan (Scotland)

Quinn O'Brien joins the professional ranks after four seasons with the Gee-Gees. O'Brien joins Jacob Sweeney and Médric Mercier in signing with the Glasgow Clan of the UK's Elite Ice Hockey League. O'Brien's journey with the Gee-Gees began as a part of the 2016 recruit class, this followed a four-year career in the QMJHL beginning in Rouyn-Noranda and ending in Charlottetown. 

In his third season with Rouyn-Noranda, O'Brien became an assistant captain prior to being traded to Charlottetown. The following season, he became the captain of the Islanders to close his major junior career. O'Brien's best statistical season came in 2013-14, where he tallied 17 points (11 goals, 6 assists) in 58 games. 

An assistant captain in his first three seasons in Garnet and Grey, O'Brien was named team captain ahead of the 2019-20 season, where the team returned to the U SPORTS University Cup for the first time since 2004. O'Brien settled into a consistent role offensively, with a major spike in production coming at the end of the 2017-18 season, scoring seven goals in five games to close the regular season. Overall, O'Brien appeared in 90 regular season games for the Gee-Gees. 

The Glasgow Clan play in the UK's top hockey league, the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL). Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and one of the most populous and highly visited cities in the UK. Glasgow finished 19-26-3 last season and featured four former U SPORTS players on their roster.


Jacob Sweeney
Defence
Communications
Signed With: Glasgow Clan (Scotland)

Jacob Sweeney moves on to professional hockey after a four-year career with the Gee-Gees, joining the team as a cornerstone recruit ahead of the 2016 season. Sweeney joins teammates Quinn O'Brien and Médric Mercier signing with the Glasgow Clan of the UK's Elite Ice Hockey League. The trio will go head to head with teammates Connor Sills and Michael Poirier, who have joined Dundee in the EIHL. 

Sweeney, a native of Quebec City, QC, joined the Gee-Gees following an outstanding four-year career in the QMJHL with the Moncton Wildcats. Sweeney was an assistant captain for his two final seasons in Moncton and in 2014-15, he tied for most goals scored by a defenseman in the league. The 2014-15 season was his best statistically, tallying 46 points (17 goals, 29 assists) in 66 games, while adding 16 points in 16 playoff games. With 248 overall games played in Moncton, Sweeney sits second in franchise history for games played as a defenseman and 10th among all players. Prior to joining the Gee-Gees, Sweeney participated in development camps with both the New Jersey Devils and the Vancouver Canucks. 

An anchor of the Ottawa blueline, Sweeney suited up in over 100 games for the Gee-Gees over his four years. An assistant captain each season, Sweeney earned recognition at the conference and national level throughout his career. In 2016-16, he was named to the OUA All-Rookie Team following a strong 13 points (2 goals, 11 assists) in 28 games in his rookie season. In 2017-18 he was named a OUA Second Team All-Star after tallying 14 points (4 goals, 10 assists) in 26 games. Sweeney was selected to be a part of the U SPORTS All-Star team took on Canadian World Junior team players in December 2018.

The Glasgow Clan play in the UK's top hockey league, the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL). Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and one of the most populous and highly visited cities in the UK. Glasgow finished 19-26-3 last season and featured four former U SPORTS players on their roster.


Mathieu Newcomb
Forward
Finance
Huntsville Havoc (United States – SPHL)

Mathieu Newcomb represents another of the Gee-Gees' 2016 recruits to turn pro following four years in Garnet and Grey. Newcomb is the first player from the 2016 class to sign a pro contract in North America, as he will join the Huntsville Havoc of the Southern Professional Hockey League. Newcomb, alongside Cody Drover and Michael Poirier, complete the trio of recruits from the Dieppe Commandos who have all now gone on to become professional players. 

Newcomb, a product of Grande-Digue, NB, suited up for the Commandos for four seasons, becoming the team's captain in his final season. Newcomb's junior production reached a pinnacle in that final season, where he registered an outstanding 27 goals and 46 assists for 73 points in 46 games (1.6 PPG). In the playoffs, he added 24 more points (13 goals, 11 assists) in 19 games.

Transitioning to his time with the Gee-Gees, Newcomb served as an assistant captain for each of his four years and had an incredible impact on the team's culture and energy in the locker room. Newcomb was leaned on more heavily for offensive production early in his career, as he turned in 18 points (8 goals, 10 assists) in 28 games in the 2016-17 campaign. In that same 2016 season, Newcomb etched his named into program history with an unforgettable goal in double overtime to hand the Gee-Gees their first playoff win since reestablishment. 

The Huntsville Havoc play in the SPHL, which is a 10-team league composed of teams primarily located in Southern cities. The Havoc are based in Huntsville, Alabama, which is the fourth-largest city in the state. The Havoc are the two-time defending President's Cup Champions winning in 2018 and 2019. Prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, the Havoc was 27-14-5 in 2019-20.


Michael Poirier
Defence
Economics
Signed With: Dundee Stars (Scotland) 

Michael Poirier becomes the sixth player from the 2016 recruit class to move on to the professional hockey world. Poirier joins teammate Connor Sills in signing with the Dundee Stars of the UK's Elite Ice Hockey League. A reliable presence on the blueline throughout his career with the Gee-Gees, Poirier came to Ottawa after three years of junior with the Dieppe Commandos along with a stint in the QMJHL with the Moncton Wildcats. 

Poirier, a native of Moncton, NB, had the opportunity to play his entire junior career at home with a strong Dieppe Commandos team that made it to the finals of the Maritime Junior Hockey League each season. In an outstanding final campaign in 2015-16, Poirier served as an assistant captain and tallied 34 points (4 goals, 30 assists) in 37 games, before tacking on an eye-popping 10 goals and 15 assists for 25 points in 19 games in the playoffs.

On the Gee-Gees, Poirier was a consistently reliable option, chipping in with solid offensive numbers throughout. His best statistical season came in 2018-19, when he had 19 points in 26 games with six goals and 13 assists. In the playoffs that year, he had seven points in five games.

 The Dundee Stars play in the UK's top hockey league, the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL). The Stars are one of three Scottish clubs in the league, which has 10 teams spread out between England, Whales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Dundee is the fourth largest city in Scotland and is located eastern central Lowlands off the coast of the North Sea. The Stars finished 18-27-3 last season and featured seven former U SPORTS players on their roster.


Connor Sills
Forward
Social Sciences
Signed With: Dundee Stars (Scotland) 

Connor Sills is the next player from the 2016 recruit class to move on to a pro career, becoming the fifth to sign a pro deal and the first to sign in the United Kingdom. Sills was a key addition to the Gee-Gees upon his commitment, a gritty forward, he came to Ottawa with four years of OHL experience. 

Sills, a native of Thunder Bay, ON, spent his entire OHL career in the state of Michigan, spending three years with the Plymouth Whalers and one with the Flint Firebirds. In his final year, he was an assistant captain with Flint and had his best offensive output of his major junior career with 18 points (5 goals, 13 assists) in 60 games.

With almost identical stats in his first two seasons, Sills missed chunks of his third year before having his best statistical season in his final year. Sills closed his Gee-Gees career with 11 goals and four assists for 15 points in 28 regular season games. In the OUA playoffs, he finished with six points in nine games.

The Dundee Stars play in the UK's top hockey league, the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL). The Stars are one of three Scottish clubs in the league, which has 10 teams spread out between England, Whales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Dundee is the fourth largest city in Scotland and is located eastern central Lowlands off the coast of the North Sea. The Stars finished 18-27-3 last season and featured seven former U SPORTS players on their roster.


Graham Hunt
Goalie
Management
Signed With: Bisons de Neuilly-sur-Marne (France) 

Graham Hunt became the fourth 2016 recruit to move on to a professional contract in France, signing with the Bisons de Neuilly-sur-Marne. Hunt joined the Gee-Gees after spending one season with the Corpus Christi Ice Rays of the NAHL, with previous stops with the Swan Valley Stampeders (MJHL) and the Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL).

Hunt was in a unique situation for his career in Ottawa, as the team consistently operated a two goalie rotation. The Concord, MA native started 19, 15, and 12 games respectively over his first three season. In 2019-20, Hunt missed time due to an injury, only starting three games in the regular season, but was the team's backup goalie during their run to nationals.

Hunt's best season came in 2018-19, when he led the OUA and was fifth in the nation in goals against average (2.13) and led the OUA and was fourth in the nation in win percentage (.833). That year, he also carried a career best save percentage of .924%.

The Bisons de Neuilly-sur-Marne play in France's second division, FFHG Division 1. Neuilly-sur-Marne is located in Paris' eastern suburbs about 13 km from the city centre. The Bisons finished second in Division 1 with a 17-5-4 record last season and featured one former U SPORTS player and six North Americans on their roster.


Cody Drover
Forward

Arts
Signed With: Scorpions de Mulhouse (France)

Following an outstanding four-year career in Garnet and Grey, Cody Drover is the third player from the 2016 recruiting class to sign a pro contract in France. Drover came to the University of Ottawa from the Dieppe Commandos in the MHL, while carrying some major junior experience in the QMJHL with the Moncton Wildcats.

This past season, Drover became the program's all-time leader in assists, amassing 91 in 110 games played. Drover finished his time in Ottawa with 33 points in 27 games including six goals and a career-best 27 assists in the 2019-20 season.

Averaging over a point per game in his Gee-Gees career, Drover was a staple on the team's top line throughout their rise in the national ranks. In 2018, the Grand Falls-Windsor, NL native had his most productive season offensively tallying 15 goals and 25 assists for 40 points in 28 games. His performance that season earned him OUA East Second Team All-Star honours.

The Scorpions de Mulhouse play the top French division, Ligue Magnus. Mulhouse is a city of over 100,000 in Eastern France. It is located on the boarder of Switzerland and Germany, about an hour from Strasbourg and Zurich. The Scorpions finished 21-16-3 last season and featured one former U SPORTS player on their roster.


Adam Beveridge
Defence

Commerce
Signed With: Remparts de Tours (France)

Adam Beveridge represents the second player from the 2016 recruiting class to sign professionally following his four years with the Gee-Gees. Beveridge, an Ottawa native and defenseman, is best known for his physical presence and blistering shot lovingly known as a 'BevyBomb'.

Prior to his time in Garnet and Grey, Beveridge played five years of Junior A hockey in the CCHL, splitting time between the Pembroke Lumber Kings and the Gloucester Rangers. 

In the 2016-17 season Beveridge played in all 28 regular season games, tallying 15 points on four goals and 11 assists. In 2019-20, Beveridge played in 18 games, posting two goals and six assists for eight points. In all, the 6-2, 220 lb. blueliner suited up in 81 career regular season games for the Gee-Gees.

The Remparts de Tours play in FFHG Division 1, the second level of France's pro structure. Tours is a city of over 135,000 in western France, situated on the Loire river about 200 km from Paris. The Remparts finished fifth in Division 1 with a 15-6-5 record last season and featured four Canadians on their roster.


Brendan Jacome
Forward

Management
Signed With: Gothiques d'Amiens (France) 

Brendan Jacome became the first player to sign a professional contract this season. Jacome came to the Gee-Gees in the 2016 recruiting class after a four-year career with the Georgetown Raiders in the OJHL. 

An assistant captain for each of his four seasons in Garnet and Grey, Jacome exemplified leadership on and off the ice throughout his time with the Gee-Gees. A three-time U SPORTS Academic All-Canadian, the Caledon, Ont. native also won the U SPORTS and OUA East Most Sportsmanlike Player award in 2018-19. In 2019-20, Jacome won the OUA East's Randy Gregg Award recognizing excellence in the classroom and on the ice and was the conference's finalist for the award at the national level. Jacome also won Sports Services' President Award in 2016-17.

Jacome's offensive production increased from 14 points in 28 games in his rookie season, to a peak of 29 points (13 goals and 16 assists) in 27 games in 2018-19. This season, Jacome had eight goals and 14 assists for 22 points in 28 games.

The Gothiques d'Amiens plays in Ligue Magnus, France's top division. Amiens is located in Northern France, 120 km north of Paris. The Gothiques finished 23-9-6 last season and featured five former U SPORTS players on their roster.