If Yuri Cheremetiev’s conditioning is good as it’s said to be, he could have a banner season in Halifax.
The 20-year-old forward informed the Halifax Mooseheads on Thursday he will return to the team this season after spending the past three weeks trying out at a training camp with CSKA Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League.
Cheremetiev tied for the team lead in scoring last season with 22 goals and 27 assists for 49 points in 65 games.
“I talked to (Chicago Blackhawks assistant coach John) Torchetti who owns a gym Yuri worked out at this summer and he told me the kid’s been working really hard,” Mooseheads general manager Cam Russell said. “He’s probably in the best shape he’s ever been in, and that’s going to help him a lot.
“If he comes back in great shape, he won’t complain about the amount of ice time he’s gonna get.”
The Mooseheads had the third-worst offence in the QMJHL last season and have lost sniper Jan Stransky to a contract in the Czech ExtraLiga earlier in the summer. Cheremetiev’s return means the Mooseheads won’t have to rely solely on Tomas Knotek — last year’s MVP — for goal-scoring.
“It’s good news — if you look at our lineup, the one thing we’re lacking is skill up front,” Russell said. “You need character, you need workers and you need skill. Yuri is a guy who could put up some real good numbers for us this season.”
Training camp opens Aug. 19 at Cole Harbour Place.