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WORD ON THE HERD – JULY 6TH

  • The dog days of summer are coming but there’s plenty to talk about surrounding the Mooseheads. Otto Somppi recently took part in his first NHL Development Camp with the Tampa Bay Lightning after being selected by the Bolts in the seventh round of June’s draft. He scored one goal and two assists in ive games played in the three-on-three tournament. Somppi is expected to take another leap in his development during his second season in North America which will be a big boost to the excitement coming to Moose Country in 2016-17.

  • Other Mooseheads past and present are also taking part in development camps this week, including Max Fortier with the Montreal Canadiens. He received a free agent invite after being passed over in the draft. He scored a goal during Tuesday’s scrimmage and said he is committed to showing the Habs what he is capable of on the ice. “I wasn’t happy with the result (not being drafted) but in the end my goal is the same. I want to play in the NHL and I’m really thankful for the opportunity in Montreal,” he said. Check out the video of his goal (around the 1:30 mark) – keep it up Max!
  • Former Herd goaltender Eric Brassard is doing his best to make an impression at Jets camp after he got a free agent invitation from Winnipeg. Brassard played one game in the ECHL at the end of the season and is hoping to land a professional job somewhere this summer but could also end up back in Halifax in the AUS. Best of luck also goes out to Danny Moynihan who’s at camp with the Vancouver Canucks

  • With the QMJHL Draft and the Import Draft done and over with we can play armchair General Manager and take a look at how the Mooseheads roster is shaping up for next season which is always fun. I think the combo of Somppi and Fortier together on a line will likely remain as they became quite comfortable with each other last season and showed a of of creativity. Whether you put Arnaud Durandeau on the other wing, I guess we’ll see. Remember with Andre Tourigny coming in as the new coach all of these players are new to him so the landscape could certainly change during training camp and preseason. It sounds as though Nico Hischier possesses the talent to quickly slide into a top six role on the squad and 20-year-old Bradley Kennedy should provide some offensive punch as well. Top pick Benoit-Olivier Groulx should get some consideration for a spot on the top two lines but it could also be to his benefit as a 16-year-old to ease into things in the bottom six. What do you think? I personally feel that Ilya Putintsev could be one of those players that takes a big step in his second season. His determination on the ice impressed me, especially towards the end of the season when I think he let the game come to him a little more, instead of trying to make something happen all on his own. His goal output might surprise some people in 2016-17. Big Connor Moynihan will be back and throwing his weight around. The American will be 19-years-old this season and his size combined with his skating abilities should make him a difficult player to face in this league. Players better be on their toes and ready to compete for a spot at camp with over-agers Andrew Shewfelt, Vince Watt and Anthony Sorrentino fighting with Kennedy for roster positions. Brett Crossley proved to be an efficient penalty killer and role player in his second season and will also be looking for one of those forward spots. Joel Bishop had an impressive rookie season after becoming a nice surprise during training camp in Cole Harbour as a sixth round pick in 2015. He showed the type of grit and secondary scoring ability needed in the bottom six. Barrett Dachyshyn showed plenty of promise as a rookie as well and is another player I see making significant improvements this year. That leaves Dominik Blain as the last remaining player from last season’s squad for a total of 15 forwards on this list. The Herd have broke camp with 14 forwards, eight defencemen and two goaltenders in each of the past two seasons. Could there be another surprise like Bishop at camp this year? Raphael Lavoie was a fairly high pick at 29th overall last month and Frederik Theoret was taken in the third round, but with the depth available to the team it might be best to give those 16-year-olds more time to develop in Midget. The defence is looking very good with the addition of Jared McIsaac as he joins Captain Taylor Ford, young guns Jocktan Chainey Walter Flower and the likes of J-S Taillefer, Morgan Nauss and Cooper Jones and a list of prospects who will challenge at camp. The future is definitely exciting and I know you’re looking as forward to seeing these guys on the ice as I am.
  • Speaking of seeing the young players in action, who’s coming to the Hub City Showcase in Moncton? I like this move by the Q to have clubs work out rookies and a selection of other young players at the tournament before main camp begins back at Cole Harbour Place. It seems to fall in line with the way the NHL has done things in recent years. The Mooseheads will play in three games (Aug. 19th, 20th & 21st) and GM Cam Russell has said cuts will be made following the three day event.
  • I’ve had plenty of questions fired my way about the specialty games for next season as fans are starting to make decisions on what games they want to come see in 2016-17 (especially 15-Game Pack holders) so I thought I’d point out that we have a detailed Promotional Schedule on the website. Click here for all our important game events.
  • How are you liking our new-look website anyway? We along with all other teams in the CHL have worked with Stadium Digital to redesign our site. HalifaxMooseheads.ca is now mobile friendly which you may have noticed as well. Stadium Digital has lead some of Canada’s largest digital transformations including, CTVOlympics.ca, TSN.ca (TSN Go), BarDown.com and many more.As always feel free to email me scott@halifaxmooseheads.ca or tweet me @scottmacintosh4

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