Jan Stransky is eager for his second chance to make a first impression on Halifax Mooseheads fans.
The 18-year-old right-winger joined the Mooseheads last weekend after coming over in a trade from the Gatineau Olympiques, but was ejected less than six minutes into his home debut on Tuesday night for checking from behind.
That derailed his hot start with the team. He had tallied three goals and two assists in his first two road games and was named the QMJHL’s offensive player of the week.
The Herd hosts the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles Saturday at 7 p.m. and the P.E.I. Rocket on Sunday at 4 p.m.
“I hope it will be better for me,” Stransky said, of his next game at the Metro Centre.
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“I want to be a leader here. I want to help Halifax and I hope I’ll get a lot of points.”
That’s the kind of talk Mooseheads management no doubt likes to hear. They nabbed Stransky, a speedy winger with a laser of a shot, for a fifth-round draft choice on Dec. 27, and plan to put him on the top line with fellow Czech Republic native Tomas Knotek and Yuri Cheremetiev in the second half.
Stransky, who won a scoring title in the Czech under-20 league last season, had 16 points in 32 games in Gatineau, but said he wasn’t particularly happy with his ice time.
“I wasn’t playing a lot in Gatineau and my agent (Petr Svoboda) said, ‘If you want, you can go to Halifax, because they want you,’” Stransky said. “I said, ‘Yeah, OK, I’ll go there.’”
With Stransky and Knotek expected back next season, the Mooseheads will likely deal their top European draft pick for a defenceman by the Jan. 8 trade deadline. They also need to clear at least two players off their roster by Jan. 10.
The Mooseheads are 11-25-3, two points out of last place.