The Halifax Mooseheads came into this season with very high expectations and so far they have delivered.
The team is first in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with a staggering 21-3-1 record. They are also the No. 1 ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League, thanks to young stars like Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin – who should only get better as the season progresses.
“There is a lot to be happy about. There is a lot to be excited about,” said Mooseheads general manager Cam Russell. “I think we’ve seen a good consistent brand of hockey throughout the season.”
The numbers don’t lie. The Mooseheads lead the league in wins and goals for, sit second in power play, home wins and road victories, and are third best in goals allowed.
They also have two players amongst the league leaders in scoring – with MacKinnon at No. 4 (20 goals, 23 assists) and Drouin at No. 10 (15 goals, 25 assists).
But what stands out most for Russell is just how balanced the team is. They are strong in goal with Zachary Fucale and Chris Clarke, solid on the blueline and up front have three lines that can contribute offensively.
“Obviously we’ve had a couple of key players step up in the last year, to year and a half,” Russell said. “But we’ve got a lot of other good players on this hockey team. There is excellent depth at all positions, and I think the coaching staff has done a very good job making sure the players are ready to play every night.”
That said, every team can use fine-tuning and Russell will be watching attentively over the next few weeks, leading up to the start of the Q trade deadline on Dec. 22, to see if there are any moves that need to be made.
“We are always looking – we’ve been doing that since the start of the season,” he said. “If there is an opportunity to improve our hockey team that makes sense for our team and the organization, that’s something we’ll do.”