The Halifax Mooseheads were hoping Matthew Boudreau would provide them with a second-half offensive spark. Instead, the 16-year-old centre is heading back to Quebec.
Boudreau, who was leading the Quebec midget AAA ranks in scoring when he was recalled on Dec. 9, told the Mooseheads yesterday he would prefer to return to St-Eustache, Que., than finish the season in the QMJHL.
He has one assist in four games with Halifax, in addition to his 39 points in 24 games with St-Eustache.
“We wanted him to stay,” said Mooseheads head coach and general manager Cam Russell. “But it was a good experience for him to play here (over the holidays) so he knows what he needs to do when he comes back (next season).”
The five-foot-eight 160-pounder was a 2009 third-round pick and remains a big part of the Herd’s future as one of the few pure offensive talents in the system. He is expected to stay for three more games before leaving next week.
Boudreau’s departure is expected to open up a full-time spot for right-winger Andrew Wigginton of Halifax. The a former Dartmouth Subways captain was acquired last week from the Bathurst Titan for a ninth-round pick.
On defence, 2009 second-round pick Jamie Bishop has officially earned a roster spot for the second half, while fellow 16-year-old Trey Lewis has been sent back to midget.
Although the Halifax Mooseheads will welcome back captain Tomas Knotek and rookie Brent Andrews on the weekend, they’ll be depleted by a handful of injuries. Forwards Linden Bahm (broken wrist), Alex Lemieux (mononucleosis) and Jordan Costello (strained hip flexor) and defenceman Garrett Clarke (concussion) are all expected to sit out a three-games-in-three-nights stint starting Friday at the Metro Centre against the Montreal Juniors. The good news is Knotek and Andrews will be back from international tournaments; defenceman Spencer Metcalfe has recovered from the flu; and blueliner Sawyer Hannay could be back after suffering an ankle laceration.