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Draft hopefuls powering Halifax

by Adam Kimelman

Why have the Halifax Mooseheads dominated the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this season? Much of it has to do with their 2013 NHL Draft-eligible stars earning all the accolades scouts are pouring on them.

Nathan MacKinnon, a candidate to be the first player picked in June, had another big weekend as the Mooseheads ran their win streak to 13 games. He had a goal and an assist in a 6-2 defeat of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens on Saturday, and added an assist in a 7-3 defeat of the PEI Rocket on Sunday. The 6-foot, 182-pound center, who received an A rating from NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary rankings of players to watch for this year's draft, leads the QMJHL with 18 goals and is tied for third with 29 points.

Linemate Jonathan Drouin, another A-rated performer, had a hat trick in Saturday's win, an assist and Sunday and now has 23 points in just 10 games.

It wasn't just their A-listers stepping up over the weekend. Sunday's win was led by center Matthew Boudreau, who had a pair of goals; left wing Luca Ciampini with three assists and right wing Darcy Ashley with a pair of assists.

Draft prospects from other teams in the league had solid weekends as well:

* Quebec Remparts left wing Adam Erne scored four goals and added an assist Friday in a 7-0 defeat of the Sherbrooke Phoenix. Teammate Zachary Fortin stopped all 19 Sherbrooke shots for the shutout.

* Teammates Peter Trainor and Scott Oke had big games in the Rimouski Oceanic's 4-3 shootout win Friday at the Val-d'Or Foreurs. Trainor scored a pair of goals, while Oke had three assists.

* Blainville-Boisbriand Armada left wing Christopher Clapperton had a goal and two assists Saturday in a 7-1 defeat of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, and teammate Etienne Marcoux stopped 30 of 31 shots to backstop the victory.

* Jean-Sebastien Dea, promoted to a C-rated player by NHL Central Scouting, added to his league-leading scoring total with a goal and two assists in a 5-1 victory against Rimouski on Saturday. Dea is tied with teammate Sven Andrighetto with 31 points. Andrighetto had three assists Saturday.

* Saint John left wing Oliver Cooper, a C-rated skater, scored 1:56 into overtime to give the Sea Dogs a 3-2 win Sunday against Chicoutimi.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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