Nico Hischier may have stolen the headlines on Friday night when the Mooseheads star was selected first overall by the New Jersey Devils, but the good news for Mooseheads players wasn’t done there. Forward Arnaud Durandeau and defenceman Jocktan Chainey were snatched up before the end of the day on Saturday, giving Halifax three drafted skaters in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
The New York Islanders claimed the Beaconsfield, QC native Durandeau in the sixth round (165th overall). The 5-foot-10, 183 pound forward set career highs during the 2016-17 season with 15 goals and 26 assists for 41 points to go along with 70 penalty minutes for the Mooseheads. Halifax made Durandeau the seventh overall pick in the 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft.
Hischier gained a little company in New Jersey when the Devils took Jocktan Chainey early in the seventh round (191st overall). Chainey had a slow start to his 2016-17 season but really heated up toward the end to finish with 24 points. The Asbestos, QC native went on to play some stellar defence in the playoff series versus Rouyn-Noranda before leading Canada in scoring by a defenceman with four points in the IIHF U18 World Championship.
The news wasn’t all good for Mooseheads fans on Saturday as teams somewhat surprisingly passed on high scoring forward Maxime Fortier for a second straight year despite once again being ranked in the top 200 North American skaters and having an excellent season on the ice for Halifax with 87 points. Fortier will now hope for free agent invitation to an NHL development camp later this summer where he would have the chance to prove himself worthy of professional contract. The only other Mooseheads skater ranked by NHL Central Scouting to go undrafted was Walter Flower.