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Kentville defenceman excited to join Mooseheads

Defenceman Cameron Whynot, the ninth overall pick in the QMJHL draft in June, was acquired by the Halifax Mooseheads on Tuesday along with a third-round pick in 2021 for forward Xavier Parent.
Defenceman Cameron Whynot, the ninth overall pick in the QMJHL draft in June, was acquired by the Halifax Mooseheads on Tuesday along with a third-round pick in 2021 for forward Xavier Parent. - QMJHL

Halifax trades Parent to Sherbrooke for Whynot

There was no denying the excitement in Cameron Whynot’s voice during a phone interview on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, the high-scoring defenceman from Kentville was acquired by the Halifax Mooseheads, along with a 2021 third-round draft pick, from the Sherbrooke Phoenix for forward Xavier Parent.

“This is really exciting,” Whynot said. “I grew up watching the Mooseheads. When I was a little kid and would go to the rink and just see the atmosphere around the team, you just dream about playing for them one day. To finally be there is a surreal feeling and I can’t wait to get started.”

Whynot, who led all Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League defencemen last season with 40 points in 35 regular-season games with the Valley Wildcats, was the highest-ranked blue-liner for the 2019 QMJHL entry draft. He was selected ninth overall by Sherbrooke.

But Whynot did not attend the draft because it was his wish to be picked by a team that could offer an English high school education that goes to Grade 12. He didn’t want to mislead teams from Quebec, where high school ends after Grade 11.

“Before the draft I had said that I wanted to be in the Maritimes for my schooling,” said Whynot, the NSMMHL’s defenceman of the year.

“Up there I would be doing a lot of online courses. But I wanted to be a normal kid and go to a school like any other kid. So I wanted to move and now that the trade is done, I’m really happy.”

The five-foot-seven Parent, who’s entering his third season in the QMJHL, was selected fourth overall by the Mooseheads in 2017.

The plucky forward set career highs with 15 goals and 34 points in 67 games last season. His biggest moment came in Game 6 of the QMJHL semifinal on April 28 when he scored the series-clinching goal in overtime to hand Halifax a 2-1 victory over the Drummondville Voltigeurs and a 4-2 series win.

“To get a player of Cam’s ability you have to give up talent in return and the Phoenix are getting a great player in Xavier Parent,” Mooseheads general manager Cam Russell said in a news release.

“I’d like to thank Xavier for what he has brought to the Mooseheads both on and off the ice over these past couple of seasons and wish him all the best in Sherbrooke.”

The six-foot-one Whynot said it was only recently that the possibility of a trade to the Mooseheads was in the works.

“In the past day, my agent was saying that Halifax was trying to work out a deal,” Whynot said. “I was never so excited then when he called me this morning and said it was going through. When I heard that, it was a great feeling.

“The summer was kind of getting a bit stressful. But now that it’s done, I get to go to camp and meet the guys and get a good skate in.”

The Mooseheads open training camp Thursday with rookies and free agents arriving for registration before getting on the ice for a pair of intra-squad games on Friday. They begin their pre-season schedule Sunday afternoon (4 p.m.) when they take on the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles at the Zatzman Sportsplex in Dartmouth.

Halifax will be without top-pairing defenceman Jared McIsaac, who’s sidelined until possibly December following shoulder surgery.

That could give Whynot an opportunity to showcase himself.

“For sure I feel I can step in,” he said. “I know every 16-year-old in the league goes through a little bit of a growing period in adjusting to the league. Hopefully it won’t be too long for me.

“Once I get my couple of games in, then maybe I’ll have a feel for the league and start being an impact player. There aren’t too many expectations for a 16-year-old but I have my own expectations and hopefully I’ll meet those.”

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