LEWISTON – For David Perron and Kevin Marshall, the question isn’t necessarily ‘if,’ but more like, ‘where.’

Perron and Marshall, two of the Lewiston Maineiacs best young stars, are pegged by Central Scouting to be selected in the first two rounds of the upcoming National Hockey League Entry Draft. Two others – Patrick Cusack and Michael Ward – also listed by Central Scouting, are further down on the list, on the bubble.

A solid showing at the Memorial Cup, compounding an already-stellar run through the postseason, could elevate each of those player, and perhaps a few more, and give the Maineiacs their biggest draft-day success to date.

“Especially because of the performance of the team,” Lewiston coach and GM Clem Jodoin said. “We have three 17-year-olds in the back, so now people are going to be taking notice. They are not there for the fun of being there. They all contribute to the team and do their job.”

Perron is also pegged the No. 15 skater available world-wide by International Scouting. His stock has risen steadily this season after playing in a lower league last year, his first of draft eligibility.

“I try not to think about that and just play my game,” Perron said. “I’ll think about the draft and everything after the whole season.”

Perron is the third player listed from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, behind Halifax rookie Jakub Voracek and Quebec Remparts forward Angelo Esposito.

Marshall, at last glance, was slated in the second round.

“I know it’s there, I know everybody is there and I know the spotlight is on us,” Marshall said.

Ward and Cusack, who have played in limited roles this season, are also looking to bolster their chances for the June 22-23 draft.

But not at the cost of winning the Memorial Cup.

“I saw the NHL draft list and I’m way down there,” Cusack said. “I haven’t really been thinking about it. I guess if I play well, I can be drafted, but if I don’t, it’s not the end of the world. I’m not going (to Vancouver) to play well and to get drafted, I’m going out there to win a Memorial Cup.”

Other Maineiacs, such as 20-year-olds Simon Courcelles and Pierre-Luc Faubert, are hoping the added exposure gets them an invite to a pro camp this fall.

“It’s good for everybody,” Courcelles said. “For me and Faubert as 20-year-olds, and for the guys who are just about to get drafted, they’re definitely going to go up. Guys have signed because they made it to the Memorial Cup.”

“All of these guys have a second chance,” Jodoin said. “The Giliatis, the Castonguays, the Daneaus, these guys have been performing.”

Stefano Giliati, Eric Castonguay and Marc-Andre Daneau have all been passed over before. Jodoin said Monday that some of the players are starting to generate some interest, though.

“We’ve had some calls on some players,” Jodoin said. “We talk about these guys already. It’s not a secret. Our job is to push them to be drafted, to be invited and to sign a contract.”

Like a snowball rolling down a hill, the Maineiacs’ push through the playoffs has already elevated the players’ exposure.

“Like Clem said at the beginning of the playoffs, the farther we go, the better it is for everybody,” Perron said. “The snowball is getting bigger. Instead of having one or two guys being drafted, we might have three or four. Instead of having pro camps for just one player, for guys like Faubert, we might have two or three now. It’s great for everybody.”

BREAKOUT INFORMATION

David Perron

Date of birth: May 28, 1988

Final Central Scouting rank among North American skaters: 10th

Postseason performance: Perron leads the Maineiacs in total points with 28 in just 17 games. He has displayed an ability to take a hit and survive the abuse associated with being the team’s top point-getter in the playoffs.

Draft stock: Rising moderately. There isn’t much higher for him to go, really. Likely a first-round pick.

Kevin Marshall

Date of birth: March 10, 1989

Final Central Scouting rank among North American skaters: 47th

Postseason performance: A member of the Maineiacs’ second PP unit and one of the team’s top overall defenders, Marshall has seven assists and 38 penalty minutes in the playoffs, and has played tough, grinding hockey all season.

Draft stock: Even. A minus-2 in 17 playoff games isn’t impressive, especially when it’s the lowest on the team.

Michael Ward

Date of birth: August 13, 1989

Final Central Scouting rank among North American skaters: 156th

Postseason performance: Ward saw limited action in the playoffs, part of a rotating system on the blue line. He has solid speed and good on-ice vision, and can fire the puck at will from the blue line. A future PP quarterback.

Draft stock: Rising moderately. A smooth skater, Ward fits well into the new style of the NHL, and he has grown this season. Once he fills out, he will be solid.

Patrick Cucack

Date of birth: June 15, 1989

Final Central Scouting rank among North American skaters: 198th

Postseason performance: With a rotating defensive corps, Cusack was in and out of the lineup, but made his presence known when he did get to play. He spends some time on the PP, and is a plus-4 in 12 games.

Draft stock: Rising sharply. Getting to the Memorial Cup helps Cusack with added exposure after seeing limited time early in the season.


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