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More and more teams from the QMJHL go find players who were passed over in in the OHL draft. A decade ago, the Hull/Gatineau Olympiques’ franchise were the only team taking advantage of this thanks to their geographic location. Now, many teams in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League are scouting Junior and Midget AAA hockey in Ontario in search of the next Claude Giroux. The Blainville-Boisbriand Armada is one of those teams and this season the Armada have two Ontario born players on their roster. Marcus Hinds from Toronto is in his 2nd season with the team, while Nathanael Halbert from Richmond Hill is in his rookie season with the club. Here’s a closer look at the two players.
Marcus Hinds RW 6-2 188 1994-01-31 Undrafted
Hinds has been a nice find for the Armada, coming from the Markham Minor Midget Hockey Association. He has brought some needed size to the Armada. Not a high-end offensive player, but he has taken advantage of a lot of injuries to his Armada teammates, contributing more offensively than last year. He can surprise offensively at the QMJHL level once given the chance. He has become an excellent penalty killer and takes pride in his defensive assignments, often seeing ice time when holding on to a lead in the last minute of play in a period or a game. We love his play along the wall as well as his puck protection skills. He was invited to last September’s Montreal Canadiens’ rookie camp.
Nathanael Halbert D 5-11 172 1995-09-30 2014 NHL Draft Eligible
Halbert is in his rookie season with the Armada after playing for the Stoufville Spirit last season in the OJHL. He has left a good impression on our scouting staff with his play in his own zone, often matched up versus the opposition’s top players. He has sound positioning in his own zone with an active stick, and we liked this about his game. Not a flashy defenseman with the puck, but makes smart decisions with it. Halbert has gained the trust of the coaching staff quickly and is getting quality ice time, playing in key situations of each game.