The Halifax Mooseheads’ strength is on defence — but as fate would have it, defencemen are looking like the consensus bets at the top of the QMJHL draft.
So when the Mooseheads pick either first or second overall in June’s draft, they will take a long look at the likes of Dominic Poulin, Jeremie Fraser and Justin Hache.
“There are some excellent defencemen out there in the draft who can step right in,” said Mooseheads head coach and general manager Cam Russell.
The Mooseheads are clearly building from the back end out. Goaltender Mathieu Corbeil is entering his 19-year-old campaign and the defence corps is loaded with youth.
Konrad Abeltshauser, Garrett Clarke, Steve Gillard and Sawyer Hannay are the backbone of the unit. Jamie Bishop and Trey Lewis also factor into the equation.
Scoring, however, is a desperate need.
The Mooseheads would either have to pass on a top defenceman to pick a forward, trade down to acquire other assets and use a lower pick on a forward, or use the pick on a top defenceman and deal one of their young blueliners to bring in scoring punch.
Creativity will be required, and Russell will look at all of his options.
“We’re not just going to build up our defence for one season and go for the Cup in two years. We want this to be an ongoing process where we’re doing this every year.”