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Back in the Swing of Things

Okay, I’ve neglected the blog for long enough. It has just been hard after taking some time off around the Holidays. There have been a number of things that fall into my sphere of content that I chose not to write about: World Juniors, QMJHL trade deadline, NBL Canada All-Star Weekend coming to Halifax, Marchand suspension.

But I am breaking my silence. With 2012 well underway now, there are a lot of things I am excited about.

WENT TO SEE BLUEJAYS AND A HOCKEY GAME BROKE OUT

Thrusday night sees the Toronto Bluejays Winter Caravan make a stop in Halifax. During the day, current Bluejays J.P. Arencibia, Brett Cecil, and Eric Thames will be joined by Hall of Fame secondbaseman Roberto Alomar to visit a local school and members of the Canadian Forces. Later that eveing they will host an autograph session prior to the Halifax Mooseheads game against the Drummondville Voltigeurs and be included in some on-ice ceremonies.

This combines two of my favourite things. While I really wish we could have had Ricky Romero and Brett Lawrie included on the tour, I am making sure to go get a baseball in the hopes I get a Robbie Alomar autograph.

NATIONAL EXPOSURE FOR THE MOOSE

Following Thrusday night’s game, the Mooseheads’ game againsty the Chicoutimi Sagueneens on Friday is set to be broadcast nationwide on Sportsnet. This will be another opportunity for Canada to get a look at Halifax’s top prospect Nathan MacKinnon after he participated in the two QMJHL Super Series games. It may be a better opportunity to showcase his talents though, as he will be with the team he regularly plays with.

There still may need to be some time to build chemistry though. While Halifax was relatively quiet during the Christmas trading period, from now until the playoffs will give them the first real chance to have a consistent stretch with most of their complete forward roster in place. MacKinnnon’s new linemates shape up to be 2011 Q second overall pick Jonathan Drouin, who joined the team just prior to Christmas and Marty Frk, who also returned to the lineup from injury just prior to the Holidays. Frt and MacKinnon got a few games in together, but a nagging shoulder injury also sideline MacKinnon for a few of the games before the break.

DRAFT ELIGIBLE MOOSE

NHL Central Scouting released its mid-term draftig rankings on Wednesday, and the Moose have a number of players included.

Most notable is the aforementioned Martin Frk who has had his draft stock eroded somewhat due to a length stint on the injury list with post-concussion issues. He comes into the mid-term rankings at 25th amongst North American skaters, but back playing consistently with quality linemates should give him a great opportunity to climb the ladder.

Another Moosehead forward that missed significant time due to injury was Andrew Ryan who checks in at #64 (ranked 6th for the Q) in the draft rankings. A good run down the stretch and into the players could really help boost Ryan’s stock as well. At 6’2″ and 200+ lbs, Ryan already has a the frame NHL GMs would love to have on the roster. He has good hands and skating ability for someone with that size, so if he can put the package together he could be a nice pick-up for someone.

Falling down the list, but still included is Luca Ciampini. The Mooseheads first round pick last year, Ciampini struggle for much of the first half of the season after a quick start. He seemed to regain some one that early season production over the Christmas break, when he got a chance to play with Alexandre Grenier and Matthew Boudreault while a number of players were at international tournaments. It will likely take a lot for Ciampini to change the trajectory of his draft stock. He will have to prove he is more than a streaky point producer that has long dry spells in between.

Oh yeah, a guy named Grigo…something ‘er other from the Rempart was ranked second overall for NA skaters.

All in all, this is some exciting stuff to look forawrd to in the early part of 2012. Hopefully the world doesn’t end.

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