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Ciampini a match for struggling Herd?

If Luca Ciampini ends up throwing on a Halifax Mooseheads sweater on Saturday — and it’s looking like as reasonable a possibility as any — he’ll be one happy 15-year-old.

If Luca Ciampini ends up throwing on a Halifax Mooseheads sweater on
Saturday — and it’s looking like as reasonable a possibility as any —
he’ll be one happy 15-year-old.

Ciampini, a high-scoring
left-winger ranked second for the QMJHL draft by Central Scouting, is
reportedly a target of the Mooseheads, who hold the No. 2 overall pick
for the annual event at Marcel Dionne Centre in Drummondville, Que.

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eyes lit up at the top prospects showcase on Friday when asked about
the Mooseheads.

“I’d love going to Halifax,” said Ciampini, who
visited the city last month. “It would be a great place to play.”

eyes of the Mooseheads’ scouting staff must light up, too, when they
read a scouting report like Ciampini’s. He is described as exactly what
the club needs after back-to-back last-place finishes and a roster that
doesn’t boast much natural offensive talent.

He spent last season
playing midget AAA with the Chateauguay (Que.) Patriotes and
established a reputation for being lethal around the net. After scoring
18 goals and 25 assists for 43 points in 38 regular season games, he lit
it up in the playoffs with 12 goals and seven assists for 19 points in
17 games.

“He’s a goal-scorer — he scores from everywhere,”
Central Scouting director Patrick Charbonneau told Metro. “Every time
there’s a rebound, it goes on his stick. He’s always in the right place
to score goals and he’s not afraid to go to the net in traffic to score.

he gets the puck, close to the net, the puck goes in. He’s going to
score goals in this league.”

The six-foot, 190-pounder has been
compared to a number of bona fide NHL power-forward types from Dany
Heatley to Guillaume Latendresse. In a video during the top prospects
showcase on Friday, he said he models his game after Rick Nash.

grinned as he talked about his desire to go to the net, with or without
the puck.

“A lot of goalies don’t like me because of that,” he
said. “I’ll stand right in front of the goalie or just drive to the net
hard. Sometimes the goalie gets punished a bit and he gets thrown into
the net, but that’s what it takes to score.”

Ciampini is also one
of the most solidly built prospects ranked in the first round, a
testament to his off-ice fitness regime.

The knock on Ciampini is
work ethic, something the Mooseheads are trying to make their
trademark. It would seem to be a major problem in selecting Ciampini
with the second pick, but scouts say he erased those concerns late in
the year with a remarkable playoff run.

“When it counts, he’s
there,” Charbonneau said.

Added Ciampini: “I’m usually pretty
tough in the playoffs. I’m a big character player and I just like

There’s a chance Ciampini is off the board before the
Mooseheads pick. The Drakkar, who are saying publicly they intend to
take Michael Matheson, could have a change of heart and select Ciampini,
or deal the pick to another team targetting him.

With the
top-ranked Matheson saying he’s going the NCAA route, that leaves
third-ranked Dominic Poulin as the Mooseheads’ other main option, unless
they decide to go off the board. Small, nifty forward Frederick Gamelin
— Ciampini’s 11th-ranked midget AAA linemate — is a possibility if that

Poulin, however, wows scouts with his NHL-calibre slap
shot. He said he’d be happy to play for Halifax, too.

“I think it
would be really exciting in an English environment,” he said.
“Improving my English is important. I think it’s really important right
now in our society and it would be a really great experience playing in
Halifax, I think.”

Poulin, a six-foot-one, 180-pounder, had seven
goals and 11 assists for 18 points in 38 games with midget AAA
Seminaire Saint-Francois. He describes himself as a two-way defenceman.

can play really good in my zone and bring good offence with my shot,
and give great hits when it’s time to be physical,” he said.

draft starts at 11 a.m. Atlantic time. Follow @metroqfiles on Twitter
first thing Saturday morning for the latest from the draft floor and
stay tuned throughout the day to Matthew Wuest’s Q Files blog at www.metronews.ca/qfiles.

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