WINDSOR JUNCTION: Jonathan Pickrem had to hear it again when he got a call saying that the Halifax Mooseheads drafted him in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) draft in June.
Now that he’s had time to digest the news—and meet with the team and find out their expectations—the Windsor Junction product, who played major midget hockey with the Valley Wildcats, knows the task that awaits him. He knows he will have to work hard, as Moose brass told him there are no guarantees.
And with the Herd hosting the Memorial Cup this coming season, there will be extra pressure to form a team that can gel right away and that both goaltenders—whoever they are—will be capable of handling the job.
Pickrem is squarely eyeing to crack the roster for the Mooseheads, a team he’s grown up watching and cheering on since he was in diapers.
“It’s pretty unbelievable,” said Pickrem, who attends Lockview High. “I was stunned for the first little bit after hearing the news. Being drafted by the team you grew up watching is something special.”
He said being selected by the Moose is his John Tavares moment. That refers to a photo of a sleeping Tavares when he was a young boy with a bed emblazoned with Maple Leafs logo on it and the NHLer now coming home and signing with them on July 1.
“For myself, I grew up watching Halifax at the Metro Centre, and now I’m part of that organization,” said Pickrem.
Pickrem is best friends with fellow Fall River native Nolan Boyd, a Charlottetown Islanders prospect. So if the two teams play in pre-season and pit the two against one another, what would that be like for Pickrem?
“That be pretty cool to play that high level against my best friend,” he said. “It be pretty crazy.”
He also was drafted to the Valley Jr A Wildcats during the Maritime Hockey League draft. So if he doesn’t make the Moose, there is an option to go to an organization he is familiar with and play.
Halifax drafted a goalie in the fourth round, and there’s been no word as to where he will play.
But his only focus right now is making the Mooseheads.
“My goal is to put my name in Halifax,” he said without hesitation. “Being a local goalie, and Memorial Cup year, my goal is to at least get my foot in the door of the organization, and make them see they didn’t waste their pick on me and that they will be happy with picking me.”