A smiling Dominik Blain-Dupuis, who was taken in the fifth round by the Halifax Mooseheads in Saturday's QMJHL draft in Sherbrooke, Que.
©Geordan Ormand - Metro Halifax
Otherwise well-spoken, Cole Harbour native Brett Crossley was at a loss for words when asked about being chosen as the Halifax Mooseheads first pick at the 2014 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft.
“I don’t really know how to describe it … I’m pretty ecstatic,” said the six-foot, 160-pound forward.
“When you’re at a young age and just starting hockey and the Mooseheads are your hometown team it’s the NHL to you.”
Crossley — who played two years at Shattuck St. Mary’s, a hockey prep school in Minnesota — said he is committed to wearing the Mooseheads jersey.
“I just couldn’t be happier — in my opinion they’re the best team in the CHL to play for,” said the 16 year old.
“The fans are just incredible — they give the team the fighting chance to win every game.”
Crossley went 21st overall in the 2014 QMJHL Draft, which took place Saturday in Sherbrooke, Que.
“We think he’ll be an all-round-type player … with great leadership abilities,” said the team’s general manager Cam Russell about their first draft pick.
“(He’s) a very intelligent hockey player, offensively (and) defensively.”
As for the team’s second choice — American John Marino, who went No. 56 overall — Russell sounded optimistic, despite the possibility the 16-year-old defenceman may not report.
“It’s a level of commitment we’ll have to work with,” said Russell.
“We watched him play a lot this year and we felt the skillset that he has is too good to pass up.”
For their third choice, the Mooseheads selected another local boy: the six-foot-two, 181-pound power forward Barrett Dachyshyn.
“(I’m) kind of speechless right now — it’s pretty cool just being selected by my hometown team,” said Dachyshyn from his home in Halifax.
Despite the excitement — and a commitment to attend training camp — the 15-year-old forward said he wants to keep his options open, adding there is a possibility he may go the NCAA route.
As part of the trade to get Dachyshyn, the Mooseheads sent 20-year-old forward Andrew Ryan to the Bathurst Titan, all but assuring the team’s three overagers next season are set.
“We’re looking at (Jesse) Lussier, (Austyn) Hardie and (Philippe) Gadoury as our three 20s,” confirmed Russell.
Rounding out the Mooseheads’ draft picks in the top rounds were two more defenceman — Domenico Argento from Montreal and Morgan Nauss of Halifax — as well as forwards Dominik Blain-Dupuis, Gabriel Vanier and Cedric Levesque.
The Mooseheads also drafted two goalies – Kevin Martin of Antoine-Girouard, Que., and American Kevin Resop of Boston.
Halifax’s final four draft selections were forwards Eddie Banville, Tristan Tardif and Bagriel Morin and blueliner William Gonthier.