By Tom Hunter (@)
Now that the World Junior trade freeze is past us, we are into the last week before the OHL trade deadline. While we have seen a number of deals made since the Christmas break, most of the big names are still available. Here is a look at some of the names that might be traded before next week’s deadline, along with some possible destinations.
Buyers: London Knights, Peterborough Petes, Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds, Mississauga Steelheads, Windsor Spitfires, Erie Otters, Hamilton Bulldogs
Sellers: Oshawa Generals, Niagara Ice Dogs, North Bay Battalion, Barrie Colts, Sarnia Sting, Saginaw Spirit, Guelph Storm.
Everyone in the OHL (except 2000 born non 1st round picks) can officially be traded. OA deadline is Monday (9th), deadline is Tuesday (10th)
— Generals Live (@GeneralsUpdates) January 6, 2017
Anthony Cirelli (Oshawa Generals) – The Generals captain has been rumoured to be on the move since the day he left for the World Junior camp. You’re probably asking why would a first place team be selling off their captain and best player before the playoffs. The answer is simple – the Generals want to host next year’s 100th Memorial Cup and want to show that they plan to go all in next season. Moving guys like Cirelli that won’t be around a year from now, is the best way to take one step back to take three steps forward.
Most likely destination: Cirelli is going to Erie, it’s just a matter of when and for what return. The two names most commonly heard when talking about the trade are Ivan Lodnia and Allan McShane. Lodnia is a very talented 17-year old winger that would have to waive his no-trade clause. He might be willing to do so in the hopes that he plays on Oshawa’s top line in an effort to showcase his talents for this summer’s NHL draft.
McShane is a 16-year old center that isn’t draft eligible until 2018. He was Erie’s first selection last spring and would be a huge get for the Generals as he is the kind of player that fits into their system perfectly.
A bunch of picks will likely end up going to Oshawa with whichever roster player it ends up being.
Mitch Vande Sompel (Oshawa Generals) – Keeping with the theme of selling off veteran players, the long-time Generals defender could very well find himself leaving Oshawa as well. The Islanders prospect has turned himself into one of (if not the) best puck defenders in the OHL. He is 3rd in the OHL in points by a defenseman and is able to generate scoring chances like no one else in the league. He has turned himself from a one-dimensional player into one of the best players in the junior hockey. The price is going to be incredibly high for Vande Sompel and that might be what keeps him in Oshawa.
Most likely destination: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. The Greyhounds improved their blueline yesterday when they acquired Noah Carroll from the Guelph Storm, but they are likely still in the market for an upgrade on the back end. Vande Sompel would likely make The Greyhounds the best team in the OHL and the high price tag would likely be worth it. If The Soo is able to swing a deal, you’d assume they’d be offering one of their youngsters – Jacob Leguerrier and Holden Wale are off limits thanks to the Lindros rule – and a ton of picks going back the other way. You’d think Oshawa’s asking price would be a package built around Mac Holloway or Calvin Martin.
Ryan Mantha (Niagara Ice Dogs) – Mantha a puck moving defender that would be a very nice consolation if teams aren’t willing to pay the huge price for Vande Sompel. The Ice Dog veteran has 32 points in 35 games and averages more shots per game than any other OHL defenseman. Niagara will be looking to unload Mantha for a handful of picks to help with the rebuild.
Possible destinations: Sault Ste Marie, Erie, Windsor, Peterborough.
Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers) – Bracco has been tearing the OHL apart over the past few months. The young American has 51 points in only 27 games and has looked unstoppable for most of the season. The Rangers are a team filled with veterans and while they are pretty good, they are not one of the top teams in the conference – so trading Bracco for a massive haul would go a long way to help the team re-tool.
Likely destination: If Bracco is traded he will end up in London. The Knights always end up getting the player they want. Bracco would fit in very well as Dale Hunter would likely use him to drive the offense the way he used Mitch Marner last season. If I had to guess, I’d think Alex Formenton and a truckload of picks would go back the other way.
Mitchell Stephens (Saginaw Spirit) – Stephens is another high-end talent that will likely be on the move in the next week. Like Bracco and Cirelli, the return for Stephens will be astronomical, despite his status as a rental. The Saginaw captain will bring star power to whichever team acquires him and is the type of player to carry a team through a deep playoff run.
Likely destination: The Peterborough Petes are a team that needs to make a statement in the playoffs this season. The team is going through tough times off the ice and a long playoff run could go a long way to fixing things. The Petes already gave up a ton to acquire Nikita Korostelev, but they still have a ton of picks available to move. Stephens would instantly become their best player and along with Dylan Wells, he could lead them through a very weak Easter Conference playoffs.
Dylan Di Perna (Kitchener Rangers) – The 20-year old defender is another player that the Kitchener Rangers would be wise to move for futures. Di Perna is a steady right-handed shot, that could add depth to an already strong blue line – or in the case of the Petes, improve one that needs it. He won’t wow anyone but is the type of veteran defender contenders are always looking to acquire.
Possible destinations: Peterborough, Erie, London, Mississauga, Windsor
Kevin Spinozzi (Sarnia Sting) – Yet another team captain on the list, Spinozzi is a more expensive version of Di Perna. In Sarnia this season, Spinozzi has 23 points in 38 games and is playing a huge role on a team that is struggling to cope with the loss of Jakob Chychrun. He is a veteran with playoff experience and would fit in nicely on a team’s second pair.
Likely destination: There have been rumblings all week that Spinozzi is going to end up in London. Spinozzi would be a big improvement over a guy like Martenet and would help add depth behind Mete and Juolevi.
Steven Harland (North Bay Battalion) – the right winger is having a career year with 18 goal and 34 points in 36 games. Harland isn’t a top-end talent like Bracco, Stephens or Cirelli but he is a very good depth forward for any team that misses out on those guys.
Possible destinations: Windsor, Hamilton, Peterborough.
Givani Smith (Guelph Storm) – Smith is only 18 and is likely to be a very key piece to the Guelph Storm as they look to make a push up the standings next season – with that said there are have rumblings around OHL arenas that teams have been calling to find out how much he would cost.
The Red Wings prospect has the potential to be an elite winger in the OHL and if put in the right opportunity, he could turn into a star.
Possible destinations: Oshawa, Hamilton, Windsor, Mississauga
Other that could be on the move this week: Anthony Stefano – F – Barrie, Cordell James – F – Barrie, Johnny Corneil – C – Niagara, Patrick White – F – Ottawa, Ted Nicol – C – Kingston, Jeremy Brodeur – G – Oshawa, Hayden Hodgson – RW – Saginaw, Kris Bennett – C – Saginaw, Garrett McFadden – D – Guelph, Mathieu Henderson – D – Flint, Everett Clark – C – Flint.