Ben Duffy’s star could shine brightly this season with one of the QMJHL’s most potent offensive attacks.
The 17-year-old Lower Sackville native will line up on one of the P.E.I. Rocket’s top two lines with the likes of Benjamin Casavant, Joel Champagne, Samson Mahbod and Chris Doyle as he looks to impress scouts in his NHL draft season.
Duffy, one of 33 Nova Scotians on opening-day QMJHL rosters, had 18 goals among 41 points in 62 games last season and was nominated for the league’s rookie-of-the-year award.
“Those six guys have the potential to be the best two lines we’ve had,” said Rocket president Serge Savard Jr. “When one line is off, the other can pick up the slack. With a 1-2 punch like that, you never know who’s going to do the damage.”
Savard said Duffy will be a “top prospect” for the NHL draft.
Other locals expected to make an impact as the 41st QMJHL season gets underway tonight include Lower Sackville’s Alex Beaton of the Lewiston Maineiacs. Beaton, a former Dartmouth Subways star, is a 19-year-old who produced 14 goals among 47 points in 66 games last season.
Forward Steven Anthony of Halifax will be a go-to player for the Saint John Sea Dogs and goaltender Peter Delmas of Bedford is expected to have a big season with the powerful Quebec Remparts after coming over in a trade from Lewiston.
Forwards Matthew Stoddard of Porters Lake and Gerrad Grant of Halifax are also expected to play important roles on their hometown Mooseheads this season.
OTHERS: F Andrew Roski, Halifax (Moncton); D Michael Roski, Halifax (Quebec); F Brandon MacLean, Bedford (P.E.I.); D Christian Morin, Dartmouth (Val-d’Or); D Matthew Fortune, Halifax (Gatineau); F Bradley MacDonald, Halifax (Victoriaville); Tyler Noseworthy, Dartmouth (Victoriaville).