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QMJHL Top 10 for 2008-09

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The top 10 storylines for the QMJHL in the 2008-09 season:

1. Can the Montreal Junior make a go of it in the province's biggest market? The Rocket left in 2003 after four seasons.

2. The Rimouski Oceanic are the host club of the 2009 Memorial Cup. The Oceanic, a 33-36-1 team last season, will likely make a significant trade or two to be a contender in their own tournament.

3. The Gatineau Olympiques were the class of the QMJHL under Ben Groulx with three titles in six years. Now that Groulx has departed for the AHL, it's up to Mario Richer to continue the tradition.

4. Quebec Remparts goaltender Jonathan Roy is scheduled to be in court Sept. 16 on a charge of assault stemming from an attack on Chicoutimi counterpart Bobby Nadeau last winter. The son of Hall of Famer and Remparts coach Patrick Roy faces a possible fine of $2,000 and six-month prison term.

5. The QMJHL toughened its penalties for fighting because of the Roy-Nadeau incident. In cases where a player attacks another, the minimum suspension could be 15 games.

6. Halifax right-winger Jakub Voracek is the heir apparent for the QMJHL scoring title after 33 goals and 68 assists in 53 games last season. That's if the Columbus Blue Jackets return the 19-year-old to the junior ranks.

7. The NHL didn't draft a QMJHL player in the first round for the first time since 2000 this year. The league needs buzz players.

8. The Saint John Sea Dogs are a team on the rise. After just 15 wins in 2006-07, the Sea Dogs won 41 last winter and have the personnel to be contenders again.

9. Montreal Junior forward Angelo Esposito, recently signed by the Atlanta Thrashers, was cut from the last three Canadian junior teams and wasn't invited to Hockey Canada's summer camp in August. That doesn't bode well for his participation in the 2009 world junior tournament in Ottawa.

10. With 18 players returning from last season, including most of their top scorers, the Shawinigan Cataractes should contend for a league title.

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