On Top of the World
Life is good these days for a couple of Halifax Mooseheads rookies. Yes, the year 2017 has been a fine one for forward Xavier Parent and defenceman Justin Barron who are set to embark on another exciting experience. Both players are currently in British Columbia for the World Under 17 Hockey Challenge where they will compete against the best players in the world in their age group.
“We knew if we made the team we would be together so it is going to be really fun to live through this experience together,” Parent said.
Parent celebrated his 16th birthday in February and a lot has happened for the Blainville, QC native since that time. He wrapped up a brilliant two-year Midget career with Esther-Blondin College where he scored 102 points in 77 games. He was a star at the QMJHL’s Gatorade Challenge in the spring which led to him being selected fourth overall by the Halifax Mooseheads in June’s Draft in Saint John, NB. Parent was invited to participate in Hockey Canada’s National Under-17 development camp in Calgary and later cracked the opening day roster for the Mooseheads. He has predominantly played left wing on the third line and has impressed fans with his speed, skill and compete level. Parent has scored four goals in his young career and has five points. His first goal came in the very first game of the season on the road against the Saint John Sea Dogs while he also scored the one seen in the video below in front of friends and family on October 20th in Blainville-Boisbriand.
To be on the Hockey Canada radar bodes well for the Mooseheads duo who both aspire to one day suit up for Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships. For now Parent says he’s focusing on learning and improving.
“I think being a part of this tournament will help me become a better player and a better person. I’m very excited to play against the other countries and their top players. It will be a nice experience.”
Barron is living his childhood dream of suiting up for his hometown Mooseheads and is playing incredibly well in the QMJHL for someone who is still just 15-years old. The Halifax born and raised Barron has scouts salivating even though he won’t be NHL Draft eligible until June 2020. The 6-foot-1 strapping blueliner has been turning heads around these parts since his Bantam days with the Halifax Hawks and later in Midget with the Halifax McDonald’s. Like Parent, Barron was a key player at the Gatorade Challenge which is used as a tournament where QMJHL scouts can view the best players from Quebec and Atlantic Canada pitted against one another. General Manager Cam Russell saw an opportunity on draft day to move up and grab a stud Nova Scotia defenceman for the second year in a row and he packaged 2nd and 4th round picks in 2017 plus Quebec’s 2018 1st round pick to Moncton to get him. He was also invited to Calgary for the National Under 17 Development Camp and has spent the first portion of the season paired with New Jersey Devils prospect Jocktan Chainey on the Mooseheads blueline. Barron is off to a great start with two goals and seven assists and is a +9 which is second amongst all rookies in the QMJHL. He picked up hist first career goal on home ice against Cape Breton in Pink in the Rink night and scored again in Sunday’s win over Charlottetown before departing for the U17 Challenge.
Barron and Parent will be teamed together on Canada Red for the World U17 Hockey Challenge which runs from Sunday, November 5th to Saturday, November 11th in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, B.C. The pre-tournament schedule begins Thursday, November 2nd when Canada Red meets team USA. The Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Finals will be held between Thursday and Sunday, November 9-11.
Canada Red Schedule:
|Thursday, November 2nd||10:00pm AST||USA||Canada Red||Dawson Creek, BC|
|Sunday, November 5th||5:30pm AST||Finland||Canada Red||Fort St. John, BC|
|Monday, November 6th||10:00pm AST||Canada Red||Sweden||Fort St. John, BC|
|Tuesday, November 7th||10:00pm AST||Canada Red||Russia||Fort St. John, BC|