With 21 points in 18 games, nobody predicted the Charlottetown Islanders to be doing this well early in the season. With several veterans gone from their playoff push last year the Isles were expected to be bottom feeders along with Saint John in the Maritimes Division. Charlottetown is 9-1 in its last 10 games and is more than hanging in there with the Screaming Eagles, Titan, Wildcats and the Mooseheads. Side note: If the early standings are any indication, it is going to be tight throughout the season for playoff positioning. The top 10 teams in the league are separated by just six points. Can you say parity?
The Acadie-Bathurst Titan paid a big price but have brought some high end talent to the team via trade. GM Sylvain Couturier landed Philadelphia Flyers first round pick German Rubstov from Chicoutimi who will provide plenty of scoring ability and it fills the team need for another import player. Rubstov entered the league late last season and had an immediate impact with 22 points in 16 games. The Titan coughed up first, second and third round picks in 2020 and the rights to former 1st overall CHL import pick Vladimir Kuznetsov. The Russian is currently plying his trade with Russian Junior Club Avto Yekaterinburg. While researching his stats I found this teammate who sports the best Russian hockey name I’ve ever seen.
Former Mooseheads forward Danny Moynihan has been a big part of the early season success for the Kalamazoo Wings in the ECHL. His eleven points in seven games lead the team in scoring and the K-Wings are second in the Central Division with a 5-2 record. Kalamazoo is the ECHL affiliate for the Vancouver Canucks.
The amount of former Mooseheads in the NHL this season is at an all-time high with nine players in the show that have worn the Halifax jersey with eight of drafted or signed and developed by the Moose. Nico Hischier, Timo Meier, Nikolaj Ehlers, Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin, Martin Frk, Mackenzie Weegar, Jakub Voracek and Brad Marchand have combined for 90 points in the NHL this season. That says something about the quality of players to come through the Mooseheads organization.
Speaking of Drouin…whether you understand the French language or not, this is an incredible piece on him and his time with the Mooseheads by Mikael Lalancette of TVA Sports:
Such great news to see Max Fortier get the contract he has deserved for a long time from the Columbus Blue Jackets over the weekend. Maybe the best response came from his brother Gabriel of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar who referred to the Moose Captain as his “little brother.”
Félicitation à mon petit grand frère @Max9Forts pour avoir signer avec @BlueJacketsNHL! Je ne pourrais pas demander pour un meilleur model!!
Top 10 Rankings: The latest CHL rankings have four QMJHL squads in the top ten led by Blainville-Boisbriand at #3. Rouyn-Noranda slots in at #5 followed by Quebec at #8 and your Mooseheads at #10. The Moncton Wildcats were given an honourable mention.
Sportsnet recently announced their “Saturday Showcase” Canadian Hockey League broadcast schedule for this season. All games will be afternoon matchups to help lead into their NHL programming in the evening. The Mooseheads will be featured twice this season; at home vs Gatineau on February 24th and on the road against Acadie-Bathurst on March 10th.
The CHL Canada-Russia Series begins tonight in Moose Jaw as the WHL faces the Russian junior stars. The series will visit Swift Current tomorrow before the OHL hosts in Owen Sound on Thursday and Sudbury next Monday. The QMJHL portion is an all-maritime tour with Charlottetown playing host next Tuesday, November 14th and Moncton on Thursday, November 16th. All games will be shown on Sportsnet. Team QMJHL consists of four players from the Mooseheads with NY Islanders prospect Arnaud Durandeau joining NJ Devils draft pick Jocktan Chainey and draft eligible stars Benoit-Olivier Groulx and Jared McIsaac. Joe Veleno (Sea Dogs) and Noah Dobson (Titan) are the only other draft eligible players on the team.
A great night for Cavan Fitzgerald on Sunday as the former Mooseheads defenceman scored his first AHL goal with the San Jose Barracuda. Nice job Cavan!