The Halifax Mooseheads’ roster is almost set after yesterday’s latest round of cuts.
The Mooseheads have 26 players remaining after shipping out forwards Dylan McGuigan and Ryan Davis, defencemen Kyle Kavanaugh and Joshua Desmond, and goaltender Randy Chisholm.
“We’re one or two away from our final roster,” said Mooseheads head coach and general manager Cam Russell.
The hardest cuts were up front. McGuigan, a hard-hitting 18-year-old, appeared in 14 games with the Mooseheads last season, but Russell said his “age worked against him” in a “numbers game.”
Davis, a rambunctious five-foot-seven, 190-pound right-winger drafted in the seventh round, 109th overall, in June, wasn’t quite ready for a QMJHL spot but remains on the Herd’s radar.
“We’re happy with Ryan Davis,” Russell said. “He needs to get some more playing experience, but we feel he could earn a spot on this team at Christmastime or next year.”
The Mooseheads are set on defence, with Russell confirming yesterday that 16-year-old blue-liner Simon Desmarais has made the club.
But there will be at least one more forward cut and 20-year-old goalie Peter Delmas is expected to be traded to clear up the crease logjam.
Provided the Mooseheads don’t land Martin Frk from the Czech Republic or another player via tomorrow’s 19-year-old waiver process, the final forward spot appears to be down to either Bradley MacDonald or Luke Warner.
MacDonald, an 18-year-old who had three goals and two assists in 27 games last season, brings speed and some offensive upside. Warner, a 12th-round, 197th overall pick, is younger at age 17 and brings an agitating, do-anything-for-the-team approach.
“Those guys are fighting for a spot on the team, but there are other options out there as well,” Russell said.
Around the Q
• Bedford’s Taylor Burke scored his first goal in four pre-season games Sunday. He was drafted seventh overall by the Gatineau Olympiques in June’s draft.
• The Mooseheads visit the Saint John Sea Dogs tomorrow at 7 p.m. They have a 1-3 pre-season record so far.
• Former Mooseheads defenceman Spencer Metcalfe was described as “one of the best fighters in the league” by Cape Breton Screaming Eagles general manager Mario Durocher. The Eagles traded for Metcalfe on the weekend.
• The Mooseheads will likely be able to watch two of yesterday’s cuts develop in their own backyard. The junior A rights of forward Ryan Davis and defenceman Kyle Kavanaugh, both 17, belong to the Metro Marauders.