The Halifax Mooseheads added 11 new prospects to the organization on Saturday at the 2019 QMJHL Entry Draft in Quebec City. General Manager Cam Russell and his scouting staff selected five forwards, five defencemen and one goaltender at the annual session.
“We have a lot of scouts who worked very hard this season identifying players and knowing there wads a good possibility we wouldn’t be drafting until later which is what happened,” Russell said.
The first selection for the Mooseheads didn’t come until the fourth round, 70th overall because of previous transactions that helped build the Memorial Cup host team in 2018-19. Even so, the General Manager was thrilled with the latest crop of talent that he’ll bring to training camp in August.
“Tough to sit there for the first couple of hours and watch a lot of good hockey players get drafted but that’s the way the business of the game works and yeah, we’re very excited about the group of kids that we selected today.”
With the 70th overall pick, Halifax grabbed forward Cole Foston, a native of Beaver Bank, NS who played for Cole Harbour in the Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League. Foston scored 12 goals and 13 assists in 35 games and was also a member of the Nova Scotia Canada Winter Games hockey team which was led by Mooseheads Assistant Coach Jon Greenwood.
“Cole’s a fast skater who plays hard and on the edge. I think he has good finish around the net as well. I for one was surprised that he was still available with the 70th pick,” Greenwood said.
For Russell’s second pick of the day he took defenceman Keegan Hunt of the Moncton Flyers who also participated in the Canada Winter Games with New Brunswick. The Mooseheads added Foston’s Cole Harbour teammate and fellow Canada Games member, Michael Sack later in the draft when they took the Indian Brook, NS defenceman in the 11th round, 196th overall.
Goaltender Brady James from the Lac St-Louis Tigres was scooped up in the 6th round and has a unique tie to the Mooseheads. The Beaconsfield, QC native has spent time training with Halifax goalie coach Marco Raimondo at his goalie school. Raimondo was very happy to see James come to the Herd.
“He’s a talented goaltender who works hard on and off the ice. He’s a really great kid with tremendous upside. That was definitely a good pick for us.”
Here’s a look at the list of 2019 Mooseheads draftees:
Cole Foston – 2003-04-07 – Played 35 games for the Cole Harbour Wolfpack in the NSMMHL scoring 12 goals and 13 assists for a total of 25 points. The forward had a big season in Major Bantam in 2017-18 for the ACA Rangers where he scored 70 points in 33 games.
Keegan Hunt – 2003-01-29 – Played 32 games for the Moncton Flyers in the NBPEIMMHL scoring 1 goal and adding 9 assists to go along with 40 penalty minutes. The defenceman helped the Flyers capture the league championship with a 5-game series victory over Saint John.
Brady James – 2003-02-19 – The goalie played in 15 games with the Lac St-Louis Tigres in Midget Espoir and posting a 7-6-0-0 record with a 2.47 goals against average and an .862 save percentage.
William Robitaille – 2003-02-06 – Split his season between Pointe-Levy in Midget Espoir where he had 25 points (14G 11A) in 22 games before playing 15 games in QMAAA with Levis where the forward picked up 6 points (1G 5A) in 15 games. He added an additional 3 points in 9 playoff games.
Lucas Robinson – 2002-05-16 – The Rocky Harbour, NL defenceman had 15 points (7G 8A) and 32 penalty minutes in 32 games with Western Kings during his second season in the NLMMHL. He had an impressive playoff run with 13 points in 9 games to help lead Western Kings to the league championship title.
Vincent Paquette – 2003-06-02 – Played 27 games for Prep School College St-Hilaire where he had an excellent season for his hometown team. Paquette scored 37 points (15G 22A) to finish third in team scoring. He added another 7 points in 5 playoff games.
Olivier Tourchot – 2003-02-12 – Played 38 games for the St-Eustache Vikings and finishing with 3 goals and 6 assists while adding 28 penalty minutes. Tourchot picked up a goal and an assist in 5 playoff games. The forward hails from Val-Morin, QC which is about an hour north of Montreal.
Michael Sack – 2003-01-06 – Played 34 games for the Cole Harbour Wolfpack of the NSMMHL and scored 7 points (1G 6A) while adding 28 penalty minutes. The defenceman from Indian Brook, NS added 6 points in 10 playoff games to help Cole Harbour reach the league finals versus Halifax.
Justin Fernet – 2003-04-06 – Played 31 games for the Triolet Harfangs in Midget Espoir, collecting 19 points (2G 17A) and 37 PIMS while the defenceman from Sherbrooke, QC also suited up for 2 games with the Magog Cantonniers in QMAAA.
Merle Putnam – 2003-05-09 – Played 34 games for the Weeks Major Midgets in the NSMMHL scoring 26 points (9G 17A) and adding 26 PIMS. The forward from Masstown, NS appeared in 3 playoff games and was a member of Team Nova Scotia at the Gatorade Excellence Challenge in April.
Kieran Burke – 2002-04-26 – Played 29 games for the East Coast Blizzard of the NLMMHL where the Mount Pearl defenceman scored 14 points (3G 11A) and added 49 PIMS. He had another 5 points in 7 playoff games and played for Team Newfoundland at the Gatorade Excellence Challenge in April.