Charles Bety will get a chance to flourish with the Halifax Mooseheads after the departure of captain Tomas Knotek.

The 20-year-old centre appears to have the inside track on one of the Mooseheads’ three over-age spots after Knotek, also 20, announced Wednesday he has signed one-year contract with HPK Hameenlinna of the Finnish SM-Liiga.

Bety is one of five 20-year-olds expected to report to training camp in August and the Mooseheads’ staff appears to be leaning his way. He has scored 27 goals in two seasons, third on the Mooseheads behind Knotek and Gerrad Grant.

“He did that without any power-play time,” said Mooseheads general manager Cam Russell. “You put him on a line with some real good hockey players and give him some power-play time and you never know what he’s capable of.”

The five-foot-11, 191-pound Bety is a strong faceoff man, having won more than 50 per cent of his draws during his career, and has dished out 130 hits while dropping the gloves twice. He’d be a strong candidate to wear a letter next season.

“Charles has been a very important player for us the past two years,” Russell said. “He’s a good leader. He hits, he fights … He does a little bit of everything.”

Grant, the team’s second-leading scorer last season, is a sure bet for one over-age spot. With Bety looking like one of Russell’s early favourites, that leaves goalie Peter Delmas to fend off defencemen Pascal Amyot and Paul Dimitruk for the final spot.

The situation will become clearer if 17-year-old American goaltender Anthony Terenzio, drafted in the sixth round of last Saturday’s draft, reports to training camp and proves ready for QMJHL action. That would allow the Mooseheads to trade Delmas and keep Amyot, who logged upwards of 25 minutes a night last season.

“If he (Terenzio) makes the team, we’ll have to move a goalie,” was all Russell would say.

– Read what Tomas Knotek has to say about signing in Finland at www.metronews.ca/qfiles