Mooney to Moncton

November 28, 2015

Skilled, smooth-skating defenceman Ryan Mooney is making the jump from the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League to the Quebec Major Jr. Hockey League.

Mooney, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound, 1998 birth-year blueliner, has joined the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL from the Rayside-Balfour Canadians of the NOJHL. He had 6 goals, 17 assists, 23 points in 21 games with Rayside-Balfour this season.

Mooney is slated to make his Moncton debut tonight.

A standout defender who was being closely watched by a number of Division 1, National Collegiate Athletic Association scouts, Mooney was an Ontario Hockey League draft pick of the Sudbury Wolves in 2014. But the Wolves dropped him from their protected list after this year’s training camp and he subsequently became a major junior free agent.

Though he gives up his Division 1, NCAA eligibility by signing with Moncton, Mooney will receive a major junior education package from the Wildcats that guarantees him a reported $40,000 in post-secondary school money.

Roger Shannon, Moncton’s director of hockey operations, said the Wildcats have a plan for Mooney, who is a native of Sudbury.

“We are really excited to have a player as skilled as Ryan on our back end as a rare right-handed shot defenceman,” said Shannon. “Ryan is only 17 years old and we will look to him for years to be our power-play quarterback.”

Moncton is considered to be one of the better franchises in the three-division, 18-team QMJHL.

As members of the Maritime Division of the QMJHL, Moncton made it to the third round of last spring’s playoffs before finally being eliminated. Thus far this season, the Wildcats are in first place in the six-team Maritime Division of the QMJHL.

Moncton is coached by 46-year old Darren Rumble, who starred as an OHL defenceman with the Kitchener Rangers before moving up to play in 193 National Hockey League games, including two full seasons with the Ottawa Senators.

PHOTO: Ryan Mooney (middle) with Moncton Wildcats director of hockey operations Roger Shannon (left) and head coach Darren Rumble (right.)

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