The Halifax Mooseheads will use three over-agers this season.
Mooseheads head coach and general manager Cam Russell said yesterday he has decided to use the maximum number of 20-year-olds allowable under QMJHL rules, meaning forwards Yuri Cheremetiev and Linden Bahm, as well as defenceman Alexandre Brunet will be on the opening-night roster.
Before camp started, Russell wasn’t sure whether he wanted to sacrifice youth for three over-age spots.
“Those were our three best 20-year-olds,” said Russell, who cut forward Eric Louis-Seize and defenceman Ben MacAskill in the past week. “That’s why they’re still here and they’re definitely going to be starting the season with us.”
Cheremetiev was the team’s co-leading scorer last season and was expected to earn a spot. Brunet was a solid defender with the Memorial Cup host Rimouski Oceanic last season and will be an important leader for the team. Bahm had the most to prove coming into camp and has been outstanding.
“We have a 20-year-old defenceman (Brunet), a 20-year-old scorer (Cheremetiev), and a 20-year-old hard-working, character player (Bahm),” Russell said. “They all bring three very different but three very important traits to the table.”
The Mooseheads’ pre-season roster was trimmed to 29 yesterday after 17-year-old forward Kody Orr of Lower Sackville left camp to preserve his NCAA eligibility. Four other players — defencemen Trey Lewis and Ryan Matheson and tryouts Ryan Nickerson and Gatlin Burt — were cut.