HALIFAX - A newspaper says the Halifax Mooseheads have struck a deal with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar to acquire Nathan MacKinnon, the top pick in the recent Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft.
The Halifax Chronicle Herald is reporting the Mooseheads will give up forwards Francis Turbide and Carl Gelinas and three first-round picks for the rights to the high-scoring forward from Cole Harbour, N.S.
The newspaper said the first-round picks will be in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
The trade can't be officially announced until the league's next trade window opens on Aug. 1.
MacKinnon was picked first overall in this year's QMJHL draft in June but balked at reporting to Baie-Comeau.
The high-scoring 16-year-old forward was clearly the most talented player available in this year's crop of midget prospects and has been compared to another Cole Harbour product — Sidney Crosby.
MacKinnon starred for Nova Scotia at the Canada Games in Halifax in February, leading the team in scoring by a wide margin despite being double teamed during most games. He had eight goals and 11 points to finish tied for fourth in tournament scoring even though Team Nova Scotia was overmatched in most games.
Many scouts have suggested he's the early favourite to go first overall in the 2013 NHL draft.
MacKinnon grew up playing in the same minor hockey system as Crosby and then jumped to Shattuck St. Mary's prep school in Minnesota, where Crosby also played.
The five-foot-11, 170-pound centre had 45 goals and 93 points in 40 games this season.
(Halifax Chronicle Herald)