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May 26, 2017 | Hockey (M)

Defenceman Carl Neill tries on the Stingers' colours.Defenceman Carl Neill tries on the Stingers' colours.

NHL draft pick Carl Neill signs with hockey Stingers

Head coach Marc-André Élement is pleased to announce defenceman Carl Neill, a fifth-round NHL draft pick, has signed a letter of intent committing to the Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team.

Neill, who was selected in the fifth round (144th overall) by the Vancouver Canucks in 2015, is still weighing his options in professional hockey. However, if he opts to focus on his studies in business and play university hockey, it will be with the Stingers.

“Carl is an exceptional offensive defenceman,” said Élement. “He’s a good puck-carrier, he’s good on the power play and he has great vision. He could have a big impact on our program. He’s a leader and he would log a lot of minutes.”

The Lachute, Que. native played five seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He played 320 regular season games mostly with the Sherbrooke Phoenix. Last January he was traded to the Charlottetown Islanders and played his last 31 games with the PEI-based team.

Statistically, he scored 42 goals and added 159 assists for 201 points in his junior career. He was also Sherbrooke’s captain in 2015-16 and this past season until he was traded.

After a stellar midget AAA career with the St. Eustache Vikings Neill, who checks in at six foot one, 200 pounds, was selected in the first round (ninth overall) in the 2012 QMJHL league draft.

The defenceman was a member of Canada’s 2013 National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team that won the gold medal at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, an under-18 competition held in Břeclav, Czech Republic and Piešťany, Slovakia every August.

Neill also was also part of the Quebec entry at the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.