TRURO - Anything can happen at the table on draft day.
The Truro Bearcats were on the hunt for skilled forwards packing offensive punch. But when Halifax Titans goaltender Jacob Fancy was still available when Truro's turn rolled around eighth overall, he was just too good to resist.
"He's very impressive," Bearcats general manager Shawn Evans said Sunday. "Besides stopping the puck and winning games, he speaks to his defence and he's a leader on the ice. Those are intangibles I like."
The five-foot-11, 175-pound Lower Sackville resident backstopped the Titans (31-3-1-0) to the Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League title last season. He posted a 13-2 regular-season record with a 2.01 goals-against average and .920 save percentage.
Halifax went on to win the Atlantic title in St. John's, NL., before moving on to the Telus Cup national championship. Fancy also boasts Canada Games experience having backstopped Nova Scotia at the 2011 Games in Halifax.
But Fancy may not end up in the Hubtown next season. The 16-year-old was a third-round pick (51st overall) of the QMJHL's Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in last year's draft and has an excellent chance of making the club this fall.
In spite of taking Fancy first, Evans was still able to fulfill his shopping list of adding some scoring punch with Fancy's teammate Jordan Yochoff and Kyle Tibbo of the Newfoundland midget league's St. John's Maple Leafs. Both were third-round picks of the Bearcats.
After a 16-point regular season, Yochoff came into his own in the playoffs with nine points (4G, 5A) in 12 games.
Tibbo is also gifted offensively with 14 points (4G, 10A) in just seven playoff games after a 60-point (20G, 40A) effort in 26 regular season tilts. Evans was impressed by what he saw from both this past season.
"Tibbo is a goal-scorer and Yochoff has speed and skill and can be the future of the Bearcats no question," he said.
But since Tibbo is just 15 and Yochoff 16, Evans was clear although he welcomes the players to challenge for a spot on next season's club, he selected them to bolster his lineup for the 2013-14 campaign after the Fred Page Cup, which Truro will host next season.
"We drafted for the future with young players and flyers," he said. "We took a couple kids who are definitely major junior bound. But if things don't work out for them in the Q, we would have the opportunity to get some very good hockey players."
One of those was defenceman Mark Trickett, who skated last season with the Cape Breton West Islanders and who was selected in the second round (24th overall) by the P.E.I. Rocket in last week's QMJHL draft.
The Bearcats also bolstered their back end with defencemen Alex Anthony (Cole Harbour), Mark Wagner (Cape Breton West), Steven Ledrew (St. John's Privateers) and Matt Murphy (Val d'Or Foreurs).
Evans also did some dealing at the draft, completing the trade that saw coveted defenceman Sam Caldwell go to the Woodstock Slammers in January by acquiring Philip Fife, a centre who netted 38 points (15G, 23A) in 49 games last season. Along with offence, the 19-year old also brings Fred Page and Royal Bank Cup experience to Truro for the next two seasons.
"We're really pleased to get him," Evans said. "He's really going to help us this season. All he's done in Woodstock is win games."
The Bearcats also sent hard-working forward Alex Dalley to the Campbellton Tigers along with prospects Braden Brown and Brandon Parsons, their second-round pick in the draft and future considerations for the Tigers' second and third-round picks on the weekend.
Following is a list of the Truro Bearcats' picks by round and transactions during Saturday's Maritime Junior Hockey League draft in Yarmouth:
Round 1 - Jacob Fancy, G (Halifax Titans, NSMMHL)
Round 2 - Kyle Tibbo, F (St. John's Maple Leafs, NLMMHL)
Round 3 - Alex Anthony, D (Cole Harbour, NSMMHL)
Jordan Yochoff, F (Halifax Titans, NSMMHL)
Nathan Jardine, F (Cole Harbour, NSMMHL)
Round 5 - Matthew Kennedy, F (St. John's Privateers, NLMMHL)
Round 6 - Mark Wagner, D (Cape Breton West Islanders, NSMMHL)
Round 7 - Jordan Wentzell, F (Cole Harbour, NSMMHL)
Round 8 - Steven Ledrew, D (St. John's Privateers, NLMMHL)
Round 9 - Kyle Ritchie, F (Cole Harbour, NSMMHL)
Round 10 - Matt Murphy, D (Val d'Or, QMJHL)
1. Truro obtains Philip Fife from Woodstock to complete January 2012 trade.
2. Campbellton obtains Alex Dalley, Braden Brown, Brandon Parsons, 2nd round pick in 2012 draft and future considerations from Truro for 2nd and 3rd round picks in 2012 draft.