MONCTON — The Halifax Mooseheads want
to build from the back end out and they got off to a good start Friday
with a pair of trades.

The Mooseheads landed 17-year-old
Garrett Clarke from the Lewiston Maineiacs
and 20-year-old Alexandre
Brunet from the Rimouski Oceanic for a pair of draft picks.

The Brunet
deal had been in place since last December as part of the Logan MacMillan

The moves give the Mooseheads
depth behind 19-year-olds Gabriel O’Connor and Pascal Amyot and help
keep 17-year-old Alex MacDonald from being pushed in over his head.


“O’Connor, Amyot and Brunet
will fit into our top-four and Clarke’s capable of playing as a top-four
as well,” said Mooseheads general manager Cam Russell. “You’ve
got Alex MacDonald and Scott McDonald coming back and Ryan Matheson
here as well.

“We feel good with our defence.
That was our No. 1 priority. In this league, in any league, good defence
are hard to find.”

O’Connor looks like captain
material; Amyot has untapped upside; and Brunet brings a calming influence
with a steady, reliable game after competing at the Memorial Cup with
Rimouski. He had 14 points and was a plus-9 last season, his third in
the Q.

“He’s a defensive defenceman
and there’s not a lot of offensive flair to him,” Russell said.
“We’re going to be a young team and we want to be very strong and
competent on the blue line.”

Russell has two picks in the
second round and two more picks in the fourth round of Saturday’s
draft in Moncton. It would be a shock if he doesn’t go after a defenceman
with at least one of those.

For live coverage of Saturday’s draft, follow @metroqfiles on Twitter or visit the Q Files blog at

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