Sault Ste. Marie product Nick Porco has a new lease on his hockey life. The 18-year old left winger will make his debut with the Barrie Colts this week after being acquired from the Saginaw Spirit in a significant Ontario Hockey League trade.
The 6-foot, 180-pound Porco, who is known for his separation speed and overall hockey sense as well as being a humble individual of exceptional character, is in his third OHL season after being picked by Saginaw in the first round, fourth overall, at the 2017 OHL priority selections draft.
After tallying just five times as a rookie in 2017-2018, Porco upped that total to 20 goals in 2018-2019 and impressed the Dallas Stars enough that they took him in the fifth round of this year’s National Hockey League draft.
This season, Porco had four goals, three assists, seven points in 14 games for Saginaw before being traded to Barrie, which paid big to get a player that Dallas director of amateur scouting Joe McDonnell envisions playing in the NHL for the Stars at some point down the road.
In all, Barrie moved five draft picks — two second, two thirds and a fifth — plus 18-year old forward Dalton Duhart to Saginaw for Porco and 17-year old defenseman Ian Lemieux.
Porco, in heading to Barrie, becomes part of a Colts team that has an 8-4-1 record and the best winning percentage in the Central Division. He figures to only add to the offensive production for Barrie, which features the high-scoring likes of Tyson Foerster, Matej Pekar, Jason Wilms and former first overall pick Ryan Suzuki.
Porco also gets to play for first-year Barrie coach Warren Rychel, who as general manager of the OHL Windsor Spitfires, won an amazing three Memorial Cup championships in an eight-year span — 2009, 2010 and 2017.
Now, to be sure, as the Rychel-coached Colts look to continue their early season success of 2019-2020, they have added a Barrie good player in young Mr. Porco.