The QMJHL in search of a fifth title in a row: who are the opponents of the Drummondville Voltigeurs at the Memorial Cup?

It’s not even an opinion, it’s a fact: the QMJHL has reigned over the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) for four years. The Cecchini circuit has won the last four Memorial Cup tournaments and the Drummondville Voltigeurs will try to extend this happy streak to five.

Sylvain Favreau’s men will have a lot to do, however, since the competition will be tough. Here are the forces in the presence of each of the four teams participating in this tournament which begins on Friday.

Drummondville Voltigeurs

QMJHL Champions
Regular season record: 48-14-6 (102 pts)
Playoff record: 16-3

Photo VINCENT ETHIER

The Voltigeurs showed all the signs of a playoff champion team: their best players were their best, their goalie Riley Mercer was excellent, they showed resilience and counted on a simply dominant defender in Vsevolod Komarov. This recipe will not change at the Memorial Cup. The team may not have the offensive punch of certain other teams present, but it is well balanced and above all masterfully led by Sylvain Favreau, a coach for whom more and more people are planning a career with the professionals sooner rather than later. Since the start of the playoffs, we have wondered to what extent the absence of Maveric Lamoureux will affect the team. It still hasn’t happened. Will this be the case at the Memorial Cup? The future will tell. One thing is certain, the Voltigeurs perhaps count on fewer big names than the other teams, but it would be a serious mistake to neglect them.

Three players to watch

Vsevolod Komarov


Photo provided by the QMJHL, VINCENT ETHIER

The defenseman has Memorial Cup experience, having experienced it with the Quebec Remparts last year. We shouldn’t be surprised to see it exceed 30 minutes of use per meeting.

Ethan Gauthier


uke Woodworth

Photo provided by the QMJHL

Gauthier finished first in points for the Voltigeurs in the playoffs with 25 points. The right winger is currently playing the best hockey of his junior career and hopes to bring the Memorial Cup back to his hometown.

Riley Mercer


uke Woodworth

Courtesy Drummondville Voltigeurs

Mercer was phenomenal in front of the Voltigeurs net in the playoffs, particularly in the final, dispelling doubts about him. With the strike force of the three other teams present, he will have to be in top form.

London Knights

OHL Champions
Regular season record: 50-14-4 (104 pts)
Playoff record: 16-2


uke Woodworth

Photo IAN GOODAL, LCH

Logic held true in Ontario as the Knights finished first overall in the regular season, before being completely unstoppable in the playoffs, completing their winning run with a 16-2 record, including a crushing sweep in the final against the Oshawa Generals. The Knights are regulars at the Memorial Cup, having made their sixth appearance since 2005 (2005, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2024). Led by experienced coach Dale Hunter, the Knights have a true offensive machine who scored 322 goals in the regular season (second in the entire CHL) and an impressive total of 88 in 18 playoff games. Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Easton Cowan will be one to watch, having been named Most Valuable Player in the recent playoffs. It doesn’t mean much, but many observers see the Knights as favorites.

Three players to watch

Easton Cowan


uke Woodworth

Photo provided by CHL/OHL Images

No one questions this Toronto Maple Leafs pick at 28 anymoree overall in 2023. Cowan was simply dominant in the playoffs with 34 points in 18 games and he is the great offensive leader for the Knights.

Kasper Halttunen


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Photo provided by the CHL

The Knights are a threat on the power play and Halttunen is part of the reason. The big Finnish winger has a devastating shot that has allowed him to score 17 goals in 18 playoff games, including eight in four games in the Finals.

Oliver Bonk


uke Woodworth

photo provided by OHL Images

The Knights also rely on excellent prospect Sam Dickinson to patrol the blue line, but Bonk is their leader. The Flyers’ 2023 first-round pick has 16 points in 18 playoff games.

Moose Jaw Warriors

WHL Champions
Regular season record: 44-21-3 (91 points)
Playoff record: 16-4


uke Woodworth

Photo taken from the Moose Jaw Warriors X account

A Western team hasn’t won the Memorial Cup since the Edmonton Oil Kings in 2014. The Warriors may have had the worst regular season record of the four Memorial Cup teams, but on paper , they have the elements to bring the cup back to the West. Offensively, they count on an impressive strike force, with forwards Jagger Firkus (second round pick of the Kraken), Brayden Yager (first round of the Penguins) and Matthew Savoie (first round of the Sabres), in addition to defenseman Denton Mateychuk ( first round of the Jets), named the most valuable player of the playoffs. Like the champions of Quebec and Ontario, the Warriors also swept their final series against the Portland Winterhawks.

Three players to watch

Matthew Savoie


uke Woodworth

Photo provided by the CHL

The Warriors acquired Savoie for seven draft picks, precisely so he could make an impact. He did it in the playoffs, now he has to continue doing it at the Memorial Cup.

Denton Mateychuk


uke Woodworth

Photo provided by the CHL

Best defenseman in the WHL and playoff MVP: needless to say, Mateychuk is the cornerstone of the Warriors.

Jagger Firkus


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Photo provided by the CHL

Firkus finished first in WHL scoring in the season and playoffs. A highly dynamic player nicknamed “Circus Firkus”.

Spirit of Saginaw

Host team
Regular season record: 50-16-2 (102 pts)
Series record: 10-7


uke Woodworth

Photo provided by the CHL

The Saginaw Spirit does not appear in the Memorial Cup tournament to play the role of walk-on. After all, the team finished the regular season just two points behind the London Knights, who are considered the favorites, and was the only team to inflict defeats (2) on the Knights in the playoffs, losing in six in semi-final in what was probably the final before time. Saginaw has gone all out to be competitive this year, and has made numerous acquisitions, including Canadian prospect Owen Beck, who was in the tournament last year with the Peterborough Petes. Another fact not to be overlooked: although the champions of the three leagues benefited from a little rest after each sweeping their final series, the Spirit are the most rested team, which could be an advantage the longer the tournament goes move forward.

Three players to watch

Owen Beck


uke Woodworth

Photo Agence QMI, DOMINIC CHAN

The Canadian hopeful has experience in this tournament and is a player who can be used in all situations. He scored 14 points in 17 playoff games.

Michael Misa


uke Woodworth

Photo provided by the CHL

The young Misa obtained the status of exceptional player, which means that he began his junior career in 2022-2023, at the age of 15. Now only 16 years old, he is one of the Spirit’s offensive pillars.

Zayne Parekh


uke Woodworth

Photo OHL Images

Parekh, a defenseman, finished with 96 points in 66 regular-season games. We remind you: he’s a defender! He is a top prospect heading into the upcoming NHL draft.

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