It didn’t really matter what Pascal Amyot did for the Saint John Sea Dogs. His spot on the defensive depth chart — No. 5 in command — wasn’t going to change.
With the Halifax Mooseheads, he has hope for serious ice time, out from the shadow of No. 1 picks Alex Grant, Yann Sauve and Simon Despres, and Czech David Stich.
The 19-year-old arrived in Halifax this week in a trade from the Sea Dogs and is pegged as a key component of the Mooseheads’ rebuilding effort on the blue line.
“For two and a half years, I was working really hard and could not move up,” said Amyot, following his second practice with the Mooseheads yesterday.
“I’m really happy I’m a Moosehead now. I really enjoyed my time in Saint John, but sometimes you have to move on, and I’m glad it happened.”
Amyot managed to contribute five goals and seven assists in 38 games in Saint John, but those numbers should climb now that he’s a top-four blue-liner in Halifax.
The Mooseheads have coveted Amyot for years, ever since he was pegged as the ninth-best prospect for the 2006 draft by QMJHL Central Scouting. The 6-foot-4, 212-pounder is not overly physical but is solid at both ends of the rink.
He has two more seasons of junior eligibility, and the Mooseheads hope both of them are spent in Halifax.
“I’m going to get a good opportunity to play and improve here,” the Quebec City native said.
“I see this as a challenge and I have a good feeling this is the right place for me.”
Amyot will make his debut on Friday night on the road against the Baie-Comeau Drakkar, and has been paired with 19-year-old Ben MacAskill in practice this week.
Although the Mooseheads are second-to-last in the Q with a 11-26-4 record, Amyot likes the direction they’re headed.
“It’s a young team, but I think we’ll improve a lot,” he said.
“Next year, I think we’re going to be good.”
Odds and ends
- The Halifax Mooseheads will be without top-scoring defenceman Justin Pender for a weekend road trip. Pender, who has 24 points in 41 games, suffered a hip injury on Sunday and is not scheduled to travel to Quebec for games against the Baie-Comeau Drakkar (Friday, 8:30 p.m.) and the Chicoutimi Sagueneens (Sunday, 5 p.m.).
- Also questionable are rookie forwards Jessyko Bernard (groin) and Ned O’Brien (flu). Returning to the lineup are forwards Tomas Knotek and Gabriel Desjardins, both of whom were away at international tournaments.
- The trade deadline is today at 1 p.m., and Halifax may be done dealing. Some veterans, such as Pender, are drawing interest, but offers are not believed to be overwhelming.
- Dartmouth’s Tyler Noseworthy was traded from the Moncton Wildcats to the Victoriaville Tigres yesterday for a draft pick. The 17-year-old forward will leave the junior A Pictou County Weeks Crushers to report to the Tigres.