Moncton Wildcats Targeting Top End Forwards and Defencemen

Not even ten games into the 2019-2020 QMJHL season and some organizations are looking ahead to the Q Trade Period.

That’s life in the QMJHL when you plan to go all in.

Several organizations are poised for “a load and go” scenario, but arguably the most intriguing one of all could be the Moncton Wildcats.

The Cats haven’t been in this position for the better part of a decade.

Sure they made back-to-back semi-final appearances a few years back, but that seems like ancient history now.

Those teams didn’t have enough depth or talent to get over the hump.

You can rest assured, that won’t be the case this season when the Cats execute their plan of attack. The Wildcats organization won’t let that happen.

This is the year, the Moncton Wildcats are finally in a position to go all in.

Wish List or Reality?

Names of possible trade targets have begun to surface and it’s clear the Moncton Wildcats are in the market for a top end forward and one or maybe two highly skilled left shooting defencemen.

The Wildcats brain trust have already started that process and for them it’s both, wish list and reality.

Last week I floated the possibility of two Maritime Division archrivals being trade partners.

It’s highly doubtful, but remember anything goes when the intention is to go all in.

Benoit-Oliver Groulx and Jared McIsaac of the Halifax Mooseheads would be perfect additions to the Wildcats roster.

McIsaac is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, but should be ready to go by early December, while BO Groulx just returned from the Anaheim Ducks Training Camp where he earned an Entry Level Contract.

There’s no question the Halifax Mooseheads will be sellers this season, but would they be willing to talk trade with the Moncton Wildcats?

I’m sure if the price was right, they would certainly be open for discussions.

The possible addition of Groulx and McIsaac would solidify the Cats roster and provide the depth and skill required to win a championship.

BOISBRIAND, QC – OCTOBER 20: Jared McIsaac #14 of the Halifax Mooseheads skates against the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada during the QMJHL game at Centre d’Excellence Sports Rousseau on October 20, 2017 in Boisbriand, Quebec, Canada. The Halifax Mooseheads defeated the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 4-2. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

The Mooseheads duo led their team all the way to the Memorial Cup Final last season losing in heartbreaking fashion on home ice to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.

McIsaac and Groulx have unfinished business, and you can bet they would be extra motivated to have another chance to play for junior hockey’s holy grail.

Another organization that might be selling this season would be the aforementioned Huskies.

Justin Bergeron is no doubt high on several organizations wish lists and rightfully so.

The kid can flat out play.

Like McIsaac, the kid from Magog, Quebec can do it all.

BOISBRIAND, QC – SEPTEMBER 29: Justin Bergeron #4 of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies skates in the warmup against the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada during the QMJHL game at Centre d’Excellence Sports Rousseau on September 29, 2017 in Boisbriand, Quebec, Canada. The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies defeated the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 4-2. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Bergeron is the complete package, grit, skill, solid puck mover and possesses an outstanding first pass.

You see McIsaac and Bergeron would likely be paired with Spence or Axel Andersson and would provide balance, skill and speed to the Cats D corps.

Can you say perfect fit!

Could the Cats land both via trades, it’s uncertain, but the addition of McIsaac and Bergeron would have the makings of a championship calibre blueline.

Balancing the Equation

The Wildcats need more grit and skill up front and would probably welcome more of it through the middle.  

It goes without saying that the addition of Benoit-Oliver Groulx would provide both those aspects, but one players name that is surfacing through hockey circles right now is highly skilled veteran forward Shawn Element.

One QMJHL team executive told me that Shawn Element, “would be a perfect fit for Moncton.”

You see Shawn Element would bring the right amount of skill and grit to the line up and would also be available to log big minutes on specialty teams for John Torchetti.

Element would also be extra motivated to win given his time in the league and the impromptu series upset at the hands of the Wildcats a season ago.

Element like Groulx can play up and down the line up and would embrace playing against other teams top lines in a shut down role while also putting points on the board. Just what you need to win a championship or two.

So if Shawn Element can help provide the Wildcats balance throughout the lineup, what about Gabriel Fortier?

What could Gabriel Fortier bring to the table for the Moncton Wildcats? 

That’s easy, he’s a game breaker, a player with top end talent and scoring touch that could possibly put your organization over the top.

Gabriel Fortier would be the X factor for the Moncton Wildcats.

Fortier would probably slot in with Mika Cyr and Jeremy McKenna to make an absolutely lethal scoring trio.

The addition of Fortier would move the highly effective two-way winger Elliot Desnoyers down to the Cats 3rdline which would be centered by Shawn Element with Jacob Hudson on his right. 

The Wildcats would have three amazing scoring lines with an “Element” of grit to each one.

Now that’s balance. 

That’s a championship winning formula.

Not even ten games into the 2019-2020 QMJHL season and the Moncton Wildcats are already looking ahead to the Q Trade Period.

That’s life in the QMJHL when you plan to go all in.

Wish List or Reality?

I guess we will just have to wait and see.

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