Mooseheads select 16 players at 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft

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That Halifax Mooseheads welcomed 16 players to their organization on Saturday at the 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft in Sherbrooke, Que.

Of the 16 new additions, nine were forwards, five were defenceman and two were goaltenders.

In total, the Mooseheads drafted seven athletes from Atlantic Canada, six from Québec, two from the United States and one from Russia.

The Mooseheads began the entry draft with the seventh overall selection. With the early pick, Halifax took forward Arnaud Durandeau. The five-foot-10, 168-pound skater spent last season with the Lac St-Louis Lions of the QMAAA. Durandeau finished third in team-scoring with 51 points in 42 games played. He hails from Beaconsfield, Que.

Earlier in the second round, the Mooseheads drafted their first of five defencemen on the afternoon. Yarmouth, N.S. native, Walter Flower, was selected 26th overall by Halifax. Flower appeared in 26 games with the NSMMHL’s South Shore Mustangs last season. The right-handed defencemen was named to the NSMMHL Rookie All-Star Team in 2014-15. Flower, six-foot, represented Nova Scotia at the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George, B.C.

With the 28th overall pick in the draft, the Mooseheads selected Russian-born Ilya Putintsev. The right-handed forward was born in Moscow, Russia but has spent the past few seasons in New England with the Boston Jr. Bruins of the USPHL. Putintsev, 17, led the Jr. Bruins last year with 55 points in just 23 games played. His sister, Yulia Putintsev, participated in this year’s ATF French Open.

The Mooseheads then selected defenceman Jordan Lepage 44th overall in the third round. The five-foot-11, 163-pound blueliner is a native of Rimouski, Que. Lepage scored eight points last season with the QMAAA’s Collège Notre-Dame Albatros.

Halifax drafted their third defenceman of the day with their second pick of the third round. The Mooseheads drafted Blainville, Que. native Mathieu Charlebois 48th overall. Charlebois stands six-foot-three, 212 pounds at just 16 years of age. The lumbering blueliner amassed 11 points and 58 penalty minutes last season with the Collège Esther-Blondin Phénix of the QMAAA.

Jumping ahead to the sixth round, the Mooseheads selected forward Joel Bishop 95th overall. Bishop is the younger brother of Cape Breton Screaming Eagles’ captain Clark Bishop. The five-foot-eight winger average a point-per-game last season with the NLMMHL’s St. John’s Privateers. Bishop’s 32-point season earned him NLMMHL Rookie of the Year in 2014-15.

The Mooseheads took a goaltender to finish the sixth round. Halifax selected Raphael Blais 98th overall. Blais stands six-foot-two, 165 pounds. The lanky netminder spent last season with Nord Sélects Midget Espoir in the QMEAA.

In the seventh round, the Mooseheads selected forward Shawn Kennedy 116th overall. A native of Cornwall, Ont., Kennedy spent last season with Steve Hartley’s Châteauguay Grenadiers. In 22 games with the Granadiers, Kennedy tallied 11 points.

The Mooseheads selected Truro, N.S. native Ben Higgins late in the seventh round. Drafted 121nd overall, Higgins is a five-foot-eight, 143-pound forward with a right-handed shot. The 16-year-old amassed 23 points in 34 games with the Weeks Major Midgets last year in the NSMMHL.

In the eighth round, the Mooseheads drafted defencemen Denis Toner. The 15-year-old is a native of St. Andre, N.B. Toner tallied 20 points in 34 games last season with the Fredericton Canadiens of the NBPEIMMHL. The five-foot-eight blueliner captained Team New Brunswick at the 2015 Canada Winter Games.

The Mooseheads wrapped up the 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft drafting forwards Ryan MacDonald, Dallas Farrell, Marc-Olivier Gilbert, Matthew Fawcett and goaltender Kirklin Allen.

The Halifax Mooseheads’ training camp is expected to begin in mid-August.

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