New pickup ‘has very big upside in terms of his offensive potential’ – Metro US

New pickup ‘has very big upside in terms of his offensive potential’

The Moncton Wildcats didn’t have room for defenceman Paul Dimitruk, but the Halifax Mooseheads do.

The Mooseheads acquired the 19-year-old off waivers from the Wildcats yesterday and immediately inserted him into the lineup against the Quebec Remparts. He was the third star with two shots and a minus-1 rating.

Dimitruk had two goals and three assists along with a plus-20 rating and 63 penalty minutes in 64 games with the Wildcats last season, his first in the QMJHL.

The Andover, Mass., native got lost in the shuffle with the powerful Wildcats this season, recording no points in five games. With the last-place Mooseheads, he is expected to be more than capable of logging top-four minutes.

“He has very big upside in terms of his offensive potential,” said Wildcats assistant coach Fabian Joseph. “He’s a very good skater who handles the puck really well.

“He has the potential to be a top-four defenceman and in Halifax he might get the opportunity to (realize) that.”

The Wildcats are gearing up for a run at a QMJHL championship after the acquisition of star Russian forward Kirill Kabanov. With the likes of Brandon Gormley, Mark Barberio, David Savard and Simon Jodoin eating up minutes on the Wildcats’ blue-line, Dimitruk was the odd man out.

“It’s nothing against him,” Joseph said. “He’s got a lot of potential, he just needed more ice time to develop.”