HALIFAX - Maxime Fortier knows what he has to offer the Halifax Mooseheads.
© Metro Halifax/Andrew Rankin
The Halifax Mooseheads prospects Maxime Fortier, left, and Taylor Ford pose for a picture at the QMJHL draft in June.
Heâs a goal scorer. The 16-year-oldâs 40 goals in 40 games with the Quebec Midget AAA Leagueâs Lac St-Louis Lions this past season speaks for itself. Itâs also been 30 years since someone in the league last accomplished the feat.
âIn midget I scored goals, and I think I can score goals here,â said Fortier.
After the Lions were eliminated in the third round of the playoffs, Fortier was quick to join the Mooseheads in their playoff run.
There are no guarantees, but the Mooseheadsâ first pick in last Juneâs draft is happy to be here as the Herd get set for Game 1 of Round 2 against the Gatineau Olympiques at home on Friday evening.
âI was just told to practice and be ready,â said Fortier. âWith my skill and ability, they say my time will come. If it doesnât come in the playoffs, itâs OK. Iâm ready to build on my experience.â
His lone shot with the Herd came last December. It was a short but promising three-game stint. On paper, the lone assist he recorded doesnât look like much. But he made things happen, using his adept speed and creativity to create several solid scoring chances.
âWeâre really happy with his progress,â said Mooseheads head coach Dominique Ducharme. âThe idea is for him to get experience, work on the ice, practice, develop. From there, weâll see.
âBut heâs got some good scoring ability. He can shoot it, heâs got some good speed, pretty good hands. Heâs a kid who will be scoring goals in this league.â
After his shot with the Herd, the five-foot-eight, 168 pound forward returned back to the Lions with renewed confidence and hunger.
âJust being with the older guys who have experience in junior makes me want to be like them. Everyone is working hard, everyday. In junior you never know when youâre going to be in or out.â
Who knows how things will unfold as the Mooseheads prepare for the No. 8 seeded Olympiques, who will undoubtedly challenge the Mooseheads, especially with their talent upfront.
âThey work hard and they compete,â said Ducharme. âTheyâre intense on the puck; they push the puck a lot; they battle hard.
âEvery team is good now. itâs going to be interesting to follow. Everyone will need to be at their best.â