Growing up, it was always a big deal for Keith Getson to go to Halifax Mooseheads games.
Every few months, his family would make the roughly 100-kilometre trek from Bridgewater to watch his favourite team play. He hoped to play for them one day.
A Dec. 22 trade sent Getson, 20, from the Charlottetown Islanders to the Mooseheads.
“It was, obviously, a dream come true when I got the call to hear that I was coming to Halifax,” he said.
Getson is in his final year of Quebec Major Junior Hockey League eligibility, so time was running out for the forward to suit up for the team.
“There’s always been that little piece of me that wished to come home,” he said.
Getson has big shoes — or skates — to fill.
He was traded for Jordan Maher and some draft picks. Maher was a prized acquisition for the Mooseheads prior to this season after winning the Memorial Cup with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan last season.
Maher was coveted for his skill, character and leadership.
Getson is having a career year and is scoring at about a point-per-game rate, notching 30 points in 33 games with the Islanders.
Friday will mark his first game for the Mooseheads, playing their first game after the Christmas break. Fittingly, the game is against Charlottetown, Getson’s former team.
Now in his fifth season in the league, Getson said he thinks his experience will serve the team well.
Last year, the Islanders upset the Mooseheads in a second-round playoff sweep. But Charlottetown bowed out in the semifinals.
“The playoffs is kind of a different beast,” said Getson. “Once you get into higher leagues and stuff like that, the playoffs get even more intense.”
The pressure is on for the Mooseheads. The team will be hosting this season’s Memorial Cup, so regardless of what happens in the QMJHL playoffs, the team is guaranteed a berth at the national championship tournament.
After starting the season as the top-ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), the team has slipped to seventh in the latest rankings.
The Mooseheads have added more firepower for its championship chase. On Thursday, the team announced it had traded a first-round pick in 2020 along with prospect William Dagenais for 19-year-old forward Maxim Trepanier of the Gatineau Olympiques. Halifax also acquired a draft pick.
Mooseheads have acquired LW Maxime Trepanier from Gatineau. Here’s a look at his hat trick from Dec. 15th. 33 points in 29 games. pic.twitter.com/AwNF0larsz
Much like Getson, Trepanier is having a banner year. He’s scored 17 goals and 33 points through 29 games this season, which led the Olympiques.
Trepanier will also be in the lineup for Friday night’s game.
Cam Russell, the general manager of the Mooseheads, wasn’t available for an interview.