2 New Brunswick hockey players selected in NHL draft

Riverview-born defenceman Spencer Gill was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers.  (Philadelphia Flyers/X - image credit)
Riverview-born defenceman Spencer Gill was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers. (Philadelphia Flyers/X - image credit)

Two New Brunswickers were selected during the 2024 NHL draft in Las Vegas this weekend.

Riverview's Spencer Gill, who plays in the Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League for the Rimouski Océanic, was picked 59th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers.

The defenceman scored 12 goals and 34 assists in 65 regular season games with the Oceanic this season. He also played for Team Canada in the most recent U18 World Championship.

"Obviously it's a great moment for me and my family," the 17-year-old said in a news release. "I'm really happy to join such a great organization."

Gabe Smith, originally from St. Andrews, was selected by the Utah Hockey Club in the NHL draft this weekend.
Gabe Smith, originally from St. Andrews, was selected by the Utah Hockey Club in the NHL draft this weekend.

Gabe Smith, originally from St. Andrews, was selected by the Utah Hockey Club in the NHL draft this weekend. (Utah Hockey Club/X)

Before playing for Rimouski, Gill played with the Moncton Flyers in the NB/PEI Major U18 Hockey League for the 2021-22 season, helping bring home the TELUS cup.

"He played a big role on that team," said head coach John DeCourcey. "He's focused, he's a really good teammate. You knew he had a lot of potential."

DeCourcey described Gill as a great person, as well as a great player. News of his NHL drafting was "certainly expected," he said, adding it also motivates players in the Flyers program.

"We're very happy for him and very proud of him," DeCourcey said.

Gabe Smith played for the Rothesay Netherwood School's U18 team when he was in Grade 10.
Gabe Smith played for the Rothesay Netherwood School's U18 team when he was in Grade 10.

Gabe Smith played for the Rothesay Netherwood School's U18 team when he was in Grade 10. (Submitted by Jeff Lewis)

Gabe Smith of St. Andrews, a forward for the QMJHL's Moncton Wildcats, was picked 103rd overall by the Utah Hockey Club.

Jeff Lewis coached Smith during his Grade 10 season with the Rothesay Netherwood School U18 team.

"Gabe was a super passionate kid. Always wanted to be in the rink, always wanted to be in the gym and shooting pucks, getting on the ice and working on his skill. Just really, really loved the game," said Lewis.

"I'm super happy for him as a person. I know how hard he's worked to get that opportunity. It gets him a foot in the door to continue on with his dream."

Lewis said Smith is also a talented soccer player and a great brother.