QMJHL Meet Justin Pender, checking-line forward.
The Halifax Mooseheads shifted their top-scoring defenceman to forward on the weekend, putting Pender at centre between wingers Eric Louis-Seize and Linden Bahm.
The move was a success in Saturday’s 6-5 shootout loss to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, as Pender scored twice and was like an extra blueliner in his own zone.
“I practised as a defenceman all week, but when I came in (on Saturday), they said, ‘You’re playing as third-line forward,’” said Pender. “I said, ‘OK, sounds fine to me.’”
Pender, who stayed on the power-play point, said he has no preference where he skates. He was a forward his whole life until being converted to defence in midget AAA.
• Mooseheads star Tomas Knotek finished third in scoring for the Czech Republic at the world junior championship in Ottawa with three goals and two assists in five games. His team lost to Russia in the quarter-finals.
• At the world under-17 challenge in Port Alberni, B.C., Mooseheads forward Gabriel Desjardins had a pair of goals and an assist in five games to help Quebec to a fifth-place finish. Team Atlantic placed ninth.
• The Mooseheads could be one of many teams making trades today. They’re looking to move their top pick in the import draft, and an 18-year-old defenceman is their target.
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