Despite not owning a first round pick in this year’s QMJHL Entry Draft, the Halifax Mooseheads hockey club certainly made a splash in Sherbrooke on Saturday.
Cam Russell was all smiles after a busy day on the draft floor for the General Manager that saw him complete two trades.
The Mooseheads selected 14 players, including a trio of local talents in forwards Brett Crossley, Barrett Dachyshyn and defenseman Morgan Nauss.
Nauss was taken in the 5th round by Halifax after Russell swung a deal with Acadie-Bathurst, sending Andrew Ryan to the Titan in exchange for the 57th overall pick (Dachyshyn) and the 79th selection.
The recently turned 16-year-old blue-liner from Hammonds Plains says it’s a great feeling to be picked by his hometown team.
“It means a lot, I’ve always wanted to be a Moosehead and it’s just one step closer to fulfilling that dream,” said the smiling Nauss, moments after putting on his Halifax jersey for the first time.
Chief Atlantic scout Allie MacDonald said the Mooseheads organization was thrilled Nauss was still available in the 5th round.
“There’s a guy that really I felt wouldn’t be there when he was, so we feel very fortunate to get him,” he said.
MacDonald has high praise for the young defenseman’s intelligence on the ice.
“Honestly, in terms of pure smarts when it comes to defensemen in the draft he’s right at the top of the list, he was the top defenseman at Atlantics, and really took control of the power play in the second half of the year,” MacDonald said.
Nauss played Major Midget last season with the Halifax McDonald’s, putting up 15 points in 32 games while adding another eight points in 15 playoff contests.
He says he enjoys the offensive aspects of the game, but works hard at his defensive abilities as well.
“I’m a two-way player, puck moving defenseman, good skater and I can quarterback the power play,” he said, adding he’s prepared to do what it takes to crack the roster during training camp in August.
“I’m going to be training all summer, six times a week and come into camp strong and work my tail off to try to make the team.”