OHL trade deadline aftermath

January 12, 2015

It’s not about what you give up, it’s what you get in return.

Let’s begin with the Soo Greyhounds, who were one of the top three teams in the Ontario Hockey League before the dawn of last week’s trade deadline.

In the wake of it, the Greyhounds are even better than before.

With three trades, the Greyhounds peddled a plethora of future draft picks to the Kitchener Rangers, Peterborough Petes and Sarnia Sting and came away with four players — three of whom are high National Hockey League draft picks, two of whom played at the recent World Jr. Hockey Championships.


Added to the Hounds for the stretch run of the 2014-2015 regular season — and presumably for a lengthy playoff parade — are 1995 birth-year forwards Justin Bailey and Nick Ritchie, 1995 birth-year defenceman Anthony DeAngelo and 1994 birth-year defenceman Connor Boland.

Bailey was leading Kitchener in scoring at the time of the trade and is a second-round NHL draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres.

Ritchie is a first-round NHL draft pick of the Anaheim Ducks and a member of Team Canada’s gold-medal entry at the recent world junior play downs. He and Boland both came to the Soo from Peterborough. Of note, Boland was team captain in Peterborough.

DeAngelo, a high-scoring defender, formerly of Sarnia, is a first-round NHL draft pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning and a member of Team USA at the recent world juniors.

Wow again.

If there is a downside to the transactions, it is off ice with DeAngelo, the flashy, points-producing blueliner.

Twice last season while with Sarnia — not once but twice — DeAngelo was suspended by the OHL for violation of the league’s harassment and abuse/diversity policy. One of the incidents was for an inappropriate statement to a Sarnia teammate that resulted in DeAngelo being suspended by the OHL for eight games.

More wow.

At any rate, on the ice, the Hounds now loom as a formidable foe for all OHL opponents.

Besides the newcomers, they have two other world-class skaters — Team Canada defenceman Darnell Nurse (who is another NHL first-rounder as property of the Edmonton Oilers) and Russian forward Sergey Tolchinsky, who has signed with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Another first-round NHL draft pick, Jared McCann (Vancouver Canucks), is also an impact forward as are Jean Dupuy (who has signed an NHL contract with Buffalo), Gabe Guertler and Soo boy Blake Speers.

Wow, wow, wow, wow.

Little wonder the Greyhounds could afford to move veteran forwards David Miller and Charley Graaskamp at the trade deadline, not to mention first-round rookie centre Anthony Salinitri.

To be sure, the Hounds are strong and deep up front — and seemingly as experienced and capable on the blueline as any team in the OHL.


There are those Hound fans who are not big fans of Brandon Halverson.

But Halverson has a resume that includes being a second-round NHL draft pick of the New York Rangers who also played at the recent world juniors with Team USA.

Is Halverson a championship goalie?

Well, there are those who thought former Greyhound goalie Justin Nichols was not a championship goalie. But an OHL championship is what Nichols won with the Guelph Storm just last season.


North Bay Battalion. As North Bay pursues the Oshawa Generals in the Eastern Conference, battle-tested Battalion boss Stan Butler added forwards Ryan Kujawinski from the Kingston Frontenacs and Nick Moutrey from the Saginaw Spirit. The dual additions give the Battalion more grit, grind and goals.

Sudbury Wolves. The Wolves are going nowhere this season but general manager Blaine Smith managed to heist plum 1998 birth-year defenceman Reagan O’Grady from Kingston for four draft picks spread out over four years — only one of which is a second-rounder. Smith also got second-and-third-round picks from Peterborough for overage forward Nathan Pancel. Talk about future shopping.


Kitchener Rangers. The Rangers scored big for the future in getting forward David Miller and multiple second-round draft picks from the Greyhounds in the Justin Bailey trade. The Rangers then turned around and dealt second and third picks to Saginaw for overage goalie Jake Paterson. Perhaps the thinking is that the Rangers weren’t going to steal a first-round, Western Conference playoff series with Bailey — but that they just might with Paterson. If the Rangers do pull a first-round playoff upset with Paterson, the trade will be worth it.

PHOTO: Now with the Soo Greyhounds, world-class defenceman Anthony DeAngelo had a checkered past with the Sarnia Sting.

What you think about “OHL trade deadline aftermath”

  1. You are wright about that Centennials Fan although I do wish that Stan would of got another experiense goalie to go with Smitty.

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