Should Soo Greyhounds general manager Kyle Raftis opt to recover some of the many high draft picks that he has dealt over the past few years he could use any of the team’s three overage skaters as valuable trade chips.
While Raftis could command a lot in return for a pair of 1999 birth year standouts — goalie Matthew Villalta and Team Canada forward Morgan Frost — the Greyhounds GM would also fetch a nice price for any of the Soo’s three overage (1998 birth year) players in defensemen Mac Hollowell and Jordan Sambrook and forward Keeghan Howdeshell.
Though the Greyhounds currently reside in second place in the Western Conference of the Ontario Hockey League, there are widespread thoughts that Raftis will strongly consider any deal that will yield him high drafts picks for last-year players.
On the overage front, one team that happens to have room for two 1998 birth year players is the league-leading Ottawa 67s.
With a record of 27-7-4, the Eastern Conference powerhouse has just one overage player on its roster, namely 42-goal-scoring sensation Tye Felhaber. Having announced its intention to make a run at the OHL title when it acquired Team Canada (and 2017 Memorial Cup championship) goalie Michael DiPietro from the Windsor Spitfires, Ottawa has the resources to add an impact overage player or two.
Which is where the Soo could come into play with its overage troika of the aforementioned Hollowell, Sambrook and Howdeshell.
As a under-sized defender who logs 30 minutes a game on many nights, Hollowell — a National Hockey League prospect of the Toronto Maple Leafs — is third on the Greyhounds scoring chart with 12 goals, 28 assists, 40 points.
Meanwhile, fellow overage defenseman Sambrook is sixth on the Soo points parade with 10 goals, 15 assists, 25 points.
And as a big, powerful left winger, Howdeshell is second on the Soo in scoring with 43 points, including 28 goals.
One might think that as the January 9 trade deadline for overage players looms that Ottawa general manager James Boyd, as an example, has a wish list that just may include the names Hollowell, Sambrook and/or Howdeshell.
PHOTO: Soo Greyhounds high-scoring overage defenseman Mac Hollowell. (Photo by Terry Wilson.)