A big day for Halifax Mooseheads upcoming at Sunday's NHL draft
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It’s going to be a huge day for at least three Halifax Mooseheads players on Sunday.
Topping the list is Cole Harbour’s Nathan MacKinnon, who’s widely expected to be selected No. 1 overall by the Colorado Avalanche at the NHL draft in Newark N.J.
Speaking from New York City, the 17-year-old forward said he was feeling relaxed amidst the growing hoopla over the weekend event.
“I feel pretty good right now but I’m sure when Saturday comes I’ll be feeling a little nervous and anxious,” said MacKinnon. “Sure, there will be some butterflies but right now I’m just settling in and waiting for things to come in.”
Following close behind MacKinnon is his regular season linemate Jonathan Drouin, who could be selected second by the Florida Panthers but likely third by the Tampa Bay Lightening.
Either way, the Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts Que., native is a definite top-five pick.
Netminder Zach Fucale rounds out the Mooseheads’ three first-round locks.
TSN scout Craig Button is predicting the top ranked North American goalie will be selected in the ninth spot by the New Jersey Devils. But there have also been rumblings that he could go as high as sixth with the Calgary Flames, who will be without their starting goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, who’s retiring.
“Those are just little predictions, to me that’s all they are,” said Fucale. “In the end it’s flattering and it’s fun but anything can happen on draft day. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be happy at the end of the day.”
Then there are the Mooseheads’ two dark horses defencemen: MacKenzie Weegar and Matt Murphy.
Weegar, known for his high hockey IQ and offensive upside, could go as high as the third round. Same goes for Murphy, who’s lauded for being a smart, agile defensive defenceman.
All seven rounds of the draft will be carried live on TSN starting at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.