The first few days of Halifax Mooseheads training camp, rookie centre Francis Turbide couldn’t buy a goal.

He was big, involved and defensively sound, just as the Mooseheads’ scouting staff promised he would be on his draft day in June, but he was struggling to convert offensively despite his fair share of chances.

That all changed last night at the Forum, as the 17-year-old buried a first-period goal and assisted on another in the third as the Mooseheads edged the Saint John Sea Dogs 4-3 in QMJHL pre-season play.

“It was a little bit frustrating but when you keep working hard, good things always (happen),” said Turbide, who skated on a line with puck wizard Matthew Boudreau and rugged grinder Ryan Davis.

“Even though I was missing chances (in intrasquad play), I was getting hits and working hard and it all paid off tonight.”

Turbide, who averaged a point per game last season as captain of his midget AAA team in Trois-Riviere, Que., was selected in the third round, 37th overall, by the Mooseheads, who compare him to veteran Travis Randell.

He checked in at almost six-foot-three and 185 pounds upon arrival at camp and could be the Mooseheads’ checking-line centre of the future if things go well.

“I’m a hard-working, two-way player who can bring the offence sometimes — like tonight,” Turbide said.

There aren’t many forward spots up for grabs, but Turbide is doing what he can to set himself apart from a group that includes Bradley MacDonald, Dylan McGuigan and Luke Warner.

“I want it so badly and I’m working my hardest to get on this team,” Turbide said.

Hawes traded
• Tangier’s Cole Hawes was traded yesterday to the Lewiston Maineiacs from the Shawinigan Cataractes for third- and fifth-round draft picks. The 17-year-old forward spent last season with the junior A Truro Bearcats.

• The QMJHL trade deadline is 11 a.m. today. Mooseheads GM Cam Russell said last night no trades had been made, but it was “too early” to rule out the possibility.

• The Mooseheads have 36 players remaining from the 45 that started camp. Of note, rookie winger Nicolas Dube, who was having a good camp, left the team to play junior A in Quebec. Goalie Philippe Magnan was cut last night.