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FORTIER READY FOR THE DRAFT

The 2015-2016 QMJHL season was most certainly a break-out year for Halifax Mooseheads forward Maxime Fortier.

The 18-year-old from Lachine, QC led the team with 77 points (31 goals & 46 assists) which was good for 20th in the league scoring race.

“I’m happy with what I did this year although you’re never really satisfied,” Fortier said.

This was the second full season in the QMJHL with Halifax after being selected in the second round, 34th overall, in the 2013 draft. Fortier’s 77 points was more than double his 30 point output from last season.

 “I knew I had to take a step up from last year and I think I was able to do that.”

His successful campaign with the Mooseheads has certainly made the NHL scouts take notice as NHL Central Scouting had ranked Fortier 145th amongst North American skaters in January’s midterm report while TSN’s Craig Button has him projected as the 54th best prospect available in June’s NHL Entry Draft in the latest Craig’s List published on March 22nd.

Above: Max Fortier scores a hat trick vs Saint John on Sept. 9th, 2015

Fortier is looking forward to hearing his name called by and NHL team but isn’t one to show too much emotion on the topic.

“I am really excited for the draft, it will be a very special day and I would be very happy to have the chance to be drafted.”

The Mooseheads Assistant Captain said he talked to a few different NHL teams throughout the season but he doesn’t know of any team that’s more interested in his talents than another.

Instead of focusing on what might happen, the speedy right winger is zeroing in on what needs to be done to become a better player.

“I’ll take a couple of weeks off to enjoy my friends and family but after that I will start my off-ice training to get ready for a big season next year. It’s a longer off season period so I will use it to become better and stronger off and on the ice.”

Fortier admits he feels the need to contribute for the Herd on a steady basis when he returns next season.

“You always need to get better in every part of the game but I would say that improving my consistency is really important for me in all parts of the game.”

The Mooseheads are entering a critical offseason that will see the team improve its skill level dramatically with the addition of several high draft picks at the QMJHL Entry Draft along with the sixth overall choice in the CHL Import Draft. Fortier will be called upon to be a leader for the young team going forward and knows that good times are ahead for the franchise.

“We have some really good players and everyone has gained some experience so we’re all going to be better and we’re also bringing in some other new guys so I’m really excited to get started.

It will be a good one.”

Moose Country will be watching proudly as Max Fortier heads to the NHL Entry Draft in Buffalo, NY which runs from June 24-25th at the First Niagara Centre.

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