Quiet on the OHL trade front

Randy Russon
June 13, 2017

It has been almost two weeks since trade season opened in the Ontario Hockey League but unlike last year there has been no activity to date.

A year ago, when the OHL trade embargo was lifted on June 1, there was a flurry of activity that began when the Ottawa 67’s dealt overage goalie Liam Herbst to the Guelph Storm for a fourth-round draft pick.

But this time around, all has been quiet. At least so far.

One player of note who will be dealt at some point — be it during the off season or just prior to the start of the 2017-2018 campaign — is overage goalie Mario Culina of the Memorial Cup champion Windsor Spitfires.

Multiple OHL general managers have replied in the positive when asked by HockeyNewsNorth.com if they have an interest in trading for Culina, who was signed by the Spitfires as a free agent two seasons ago from the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

As Culina is poised to return as an overager for the 2017-2018 season, it will not be with Windsor. Michael DiPietro, who brilliantly backstopped the Spitfires to the 2017 Memorial Cup championship, is set as Windsor’s starter and is two years younger than Culina.

Over two OHL seasons as the backup to DiPietro in Windsor, the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Culina produced an overall record of 23-13-2 with a 2.79 goals against average and .901 save percentage.

Culina has also earned extensive praise from the Spitfires coaching staff for his work ethic and ability to perform in pressure situations when called upon.

What you think about “Quiet on the OHL trade front”

  1. The Battalion should try and move Sime for Culina straight up worichuck is the goalie of the future for the battalionn and as a 18 year old culina can carry the load while worichuk gets in 20-25 games and eases into the starting role Sime is not a starter and would do fine in a backup role with Windsor, Bruce, shoemaker and Mckenzie are expected play in the ECHL/AHL… Saban Shankar are the two of three overages, I would love to see Culina in North Bay it would make a strong returning battalion blue line that much better.

    1. For being a Battalion fan, You should know how to spell the team name and players names as well. You spelled Woroniuk wrong twice…lol.

  2. Yes randy I know, that was an error in typing none the less maybe email Stan butler and say trade for him lol

  3. I train the kid everyday and whoever takes him is going to get a stud between the pipes and he is going to shock everybody what he can do.

    1. Won’t be a shock to me, Jamie. Folks in Windsor say he is a legitimate OHL starter. He just happened to be playing behind DiPietro. What is interesting though is that if the Spitfires had not signed Culina, he might still be playing in the NOJHL. So going to Windsor was Mario’s break, even if it meant as a backup to DiPietro.

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