What’s up in Saginaw?

Randy Russon
May 14, 2019

Fresh from a 2018-2019 season in which the Saginaw Spirit set a franchise record for most points and then advanced to the Western Conference playoff finals for the first time ever, there is some disconnect being linked to the Ontario Hockey League team.

Multiple reports have indicated that 2000 birth-year center Blade Jenkins, a Michigan product who was Saginaw’s first-round pick at the 2016 OHL priority selections draft, is looking to be traded ahead of the 2019-2020 season.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Jenkins, who is a combination of size, speed and skill, has played two full seasons in Saginaw after initially not signing with the Spirit and playing for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Team Program in 2016-2017.

Jenkins subsequently signed with Saginaw and has missed only one game with the Spirit over the course of the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 OHL seasons.

He tallied 20 goals, 24 assists, 44 points in 2017-2018 and tacked on 23 goals, 36 assists, 59 points in 2018-2019. Jenkins then had 5 goals, 4 assists, 9 points in 17 games for Saginaw through three rounds of this spring’s playoffs.

He is the National Hockey League property of the New York Islanders as a fifth-round pick from the 2018 pro draft.

At any rate, after hearing and reading of multiple reports of an apparent rift between Jenkins and the Spirit, Hockey News North asked Saginaw general manager Dave Drinkill about the situation.

Specifically, Hockey News North, in looking to clarify the situation, e-mailed Drinkill today and asked him: “Can you comment … has Blade Jenkins asked for a trade?”

Drinkill replied in one word: “No.”

PHOTO: Forward Blade Jenkins and general manager Dave Drinkill, after signing with the Saginaw Spirit in 2017.

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