Mooseheads’ Draft Could Be Exciting

Jared McIsaac (left) and Benoit-Olivier Groulx (right) will both be skating in the Q next year. Could they be teammates?

Jared McIsaac (left) and Benoit-Olivier Groulx (right) will both be skating in the Q next year. Could they be teammates?

We ‘re just two days away from the QMJHL Draft. Each team will be looking to reload their roster with young talent.

This year makes it is especially intirguing for the Halifax Mooseheads who hold the first overall pick. The Moose have fallen to the bottom of the league rankings after years competing for the league title and of course the Memorial Cup Championship in 2013. Along with the first overall pick, Halifax has a number of picks early in this draft, which could prove pivotal in vaulting them back into the upper echelon of not only the Q, but the CHL.

The consensus #1 pick appears to be Benoit-Olivier Groulx. A storng centremen with offensive talent, but also plays well away from the puck and defensively (more). Usually player comparisons are tough when dealing with prospects because you are not so much saying they will achieve to the same level, but they have the same style, but often that gets confused. I asked about player comparisons for Groulx and Jonathan Toews was the comparable. I’m sure there is at least a little bit of temptation on the part of Halifax to select local standout defensemen Jared McIsaac, but when you have a chance to grab a #1 centerman, you shouldn’t balk. What’s interesting is I still think there is a chance McIsaac is a Moosehead after this weekend.

The core of that Memorial Cup winning team was Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin. MacKinnon and Drouin went #1 and #2 in their draft to Baie-Comeau and Halifax respectfully. Of course MacKinnon was later traded to Halifax after it was clear he wasn’t going to report to the Drakkar. This time Halifax holds the top pick, and again there seems to be some question as to whether Jared McIsaac report to Baie-Comeau or some other destinations.

I have long thought that Cam Russell would be pushing hard to parley his quantity of picks in the early parts of this draft in to even greater quality. The Mooseheads pick at #1, #7, and #16 in the first round, as well as #21, #24 and #29 in the second and #39 and #52 in round three.

In addition to my own Spidey sense the online community has been speculating about it as well. Names like Arnaud Durandeau, whom the Mooseheads picked #7 overall just last year, has been brought up in a package likely requiring the Moosehead’s #7 overall pick. No one knows exactly how the draft will end up, but even if the status quo remains the Mooseheads will add some quality pieces.

But of course watch for the big move possibly as early as Friday when the trade period opens, but maybe more likely just prior to the draft Saturday. Back in the day, I never thought Russell would have been able to land MacKinnon with parting with Drouin, but I was wrong. It’ll be interesting to see what Russell might have up his sleeve this time around.

To get yourself ready, check out this well constructed mock draft from HockeyProspect.com

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