Alexandre Doucet had conflicting emotions when he learned he was being traded to the Mooseheads. He was happy to join Halifax but sad to be leaving the Val-d'Or Foreurs, where he had been since 2018.
But the 20-year-old's arrival in Halifax has undoubtedly made the Mooseheads offence one of the most potent in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Doucet's 60 points are the second most in the league behind only new teammate Jordan Dumais, who has 68.
"I think we all work hard and we have good skills, we can score goals and pass the puck," said Doucet about Halifax's offence revolving around him and Dumais. "I think it's also a team thing. You can't do that without good players. I think both of us are playing with good linemates."
Doucet was already the QMJHL's leading goal scorer when he was acquired by the Mooseheads on Dec. 21. He now has 31 goals and 29 assists, while Dumais has 27 goals and 41 assists.
Halifax sent a package of draft picks back to Val-d'Or for Doucet, including the Mooseheads' 2023 first round pick, a 2024 second round pick that originally belonged to Gatineau, and a 2023 third round pick that was originally Cape Breton's.
"When I learned I was traded I was so excited because Halifax is a good team," said Doucet, who has four goals and three assists in three games since the trade. "They have a lot of skills. It's a good organization. I was really happy about that trade."
Dumais has the most points in the entire Canadian Hockey League — Doucet is fourth — and he said that's a product of his hard work in the off-season.
"I'm always working on everything. I'm always getting bigger, faster, stronger," said Dumais who was drafted in the third round of the 2022 NHL draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets. "My main focus this summer was my speed, it was one of my bigger flaws.
"I worked a lot on that and I think it did improve a bit which is benefiting me right now."
Halifax (23-7-4-1) takes an 11-game point streak into Saint John on Friday against the last-place Sea Dogs. The Mooseheads have nine wins and two overtime losses in that span, with the last four coming on the road as Halifax's Scotiabank Centre was used for the world junior hockey championship.
"I'm biased, but I think we have the best fans in the CHL and we see it now with the world juniors how loud they are and how involved they are in the game," said Mooseheads head coach Sylvain Favreau. "I think for us, this was a good challenge with the world juniors being in town for us to play a lengthy road trip.
"But it's also a good test and a good challenge and we've taken lessons from this road trip."
Doucet, who has yet to play in Halifax in a Mooseheads sweater, said he's ready to make his Scotiabank Centre debut with the home team.
"The fans are crazy. I played there a couple of times but with Val-d'Or so playing with the Moose I think will be even more crazy," said Doucet. "I think they have the best fanbase."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 5, 2023.
John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press