The Halifax Mooseheads are a new-look team — but whether they’ll be improved is up for debate.

With eight rookies among 13 newcomers joining a squad that finished last in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2008-09, the rebuilding Mooseheads have plenty of questions to answer before they can crawl out of the basement.


The Mooseheads will go as far as Yuri Cheremetiev and Tomas Knotek take them. The duo tied for the team lead in scoring last season with 49 points and could make a substantial leap forward if they can overcome tough checking attention.

“We’ve both been in the league a number of years,” Cheremetiev said. “We know what to expect, and the more pressure they put on us, the better I think we’re going to play.”

Secondary offence will also be a key. Gabriel Desjardins, still only 16, is the best bet to step up, but someone from the group of veterans Linden Bahm, Matthew Stoddard and Travis Randell and sophomores Jessyko Bernard, Gerrad Grant and Charles Bety has to emerge as a legitimate scoring option.

Rookie Brent Andrews, a first-round pick in June, led the team in pre-season scoring and is an impact player.


Veterans Pascal Amyot and Alexandre Brunet are going to log a ton of ice time and need to be steady.

That’s because there are four 17-year-olds on the back line: Konrad Abeltshauser, Stephen Gillard, Garrett Clarke and Sawyer Hannay. The foursome has tremendous upside but will have its hands full against contending teams.

“Hopefully, we can base this team on defence, keep our mistakes to a minimum, and have success,” Hannay said.


Gargantuan Mathieu Corbeil is about to turn 18 and will start, but is unproven and still learning the ropes. Rookie Joel Grondin, 17, will be there to push Corbeil if he falters.


Wins will probably be hard to come by once again, but the Mooseheads are younger and hope to be more entertaining along the way. The playoffs are a reasonable target.

“There’s only one way to go,” Cheremetiev said, “and that’s up.”