The 2020 OHL Trade Deadline is set for January 9th (for overage players), and January 10th (for all other players).
As is the annual tradition, I will look at previewing the action we may
see at the deadline and what some teams may, or may not do.
It has been a pretty quiet year on the OHL trade front. Teams that we expected to be big time sellers this year with some very good pieces (like Guelph) have performed extremely well and are now likely to stay the course. And the Conferences are still very wide open with only a few teams truly not competitive. That means few teams are likely to truly commit to a rebuild/retool.
Additionally, there just aren't many impact players available who aren't overagers or imports. And we know how complicated those trade markets can be. No teams that I expect to be buyers have OA room currently. I do expect London and Windsor to be flexible in adding at the expense of their current OA's, but who knows if that comes to fruition. Additionally, only a handful of teams will likely be in on the Import market, again which is complicated because only imports who have already played an OHL season (like Gross or Jenik) can move.
In the Eastern Conference, Peterborough, Ottawa, and Sudbury are the only buyers. Peterborough likely looks to add another veteran forward, especially if they can add a scoring winger with size. Ottawa, I think looks to improve their forward and defensive depth in the face of all the injuries they've had this year. And Sudbury, they need another impact forward to help Byfield, as well as consistency from the goaltending position. Oshawa is competitive, but I think that they will look to move a few pieces to help their Memorial Cup push in 2021.
In the Western Conference, things are a little more murky. Only one team is under .500 (the Sarnia Sting) and that's only by a single loss. Five points separate 6th from 10th, and six points separate 1st from 6th. Look no further than the Kitchener Rangers whose fantastic stretch to close out the 2019 calendar year has brought them from last place to a few points away from first. Who is a buyer and who is a seller? Are there even defined roles? Look at the Guelph Storm. Everyone expected them to be a bottom dweller with assets to move, yet here they are still playing fantastic through to the half way point. The only three teams that I feel confident in saying won't be buyers are Erie, Sarnia, and the Soo. But that doesn't mean they are sellers either. This is parity at its finest.
The OHL's trade landscape truly is complicated this year. But I'm still attempting to make sense of it with my predictions below:
Jakob Brahaney - Kingston Frontenacs
Veteran two-way defender who is playing a ton of minutes for Kingston this year in his overage season. Being an OA complicates the market for him. But given his size and playoff experience, I actually see him being the most coveted OA defender on the market (over some more offensive or undersized types). A competitive OHL team could feel comfortable using Brahaney as their 4th or 5th defender, in addition to playing on secondary special teams. The OA market comes down to three teams IMO. London, Windsor, and Flint, with each team needing to move out a current body in order to bring in another. Flint could use another defender, but I just don't see them moving on from alternate captain Jack Phibbs. London is a definite possibility. But it is Windsor that I see being the best fit. Brahaney could partner with rookie Dylan Robinson, with him being a definitive upgrade over current OA Thomas Stevenson. This move also helps the Spitfires relatively younger roster with their playoff push at a lower cost than a top flight 2000 would.
Prediction: Brahaney goes to Windsor in exchange for Thomas Stevenson, OTT 2 2022, KGN 3 2023
Dawson Baker - Kingston Frontenacs
Hard nosed, physical goal scoring winger who would be a great addition to a team's 3rd or 4th line for the playoffs. Can kill penalties, clean up near the crease, and provide depth in case of injuries. Guys like Baker don't have a high price tag, but do have a high impact in the playoffs. I look at a team like Ottawa being interested given the injuries they've had this year. Guelph and Peterborough are two other teams that could use more size and goal scoring ability added to their top 9. But it is the Owen Sound Attack that I see being Baker's new home. I think they look to make a few more sneaky additions (like Struthers) to help them in the playoffs and Baker plays the game the way that Attack management likes. He'd fit right in.
Prediction: Baker goes to Owen Sound in exchange for OS 3 2021, OS 4 2023
Isaac Nurse - Hamilton Bulldogs
Who wouldn't want to get their hands on Nurse, an OA veteran who is one of the OHL's elite work horses and penalty killers? His playoff experience would be welcome for any current playoff team. The question is, is any OHL team willing to add him at the expense of a current OA given his nagging ankle injury that has limited him to only a handful of games this year? No question, if he was healthy, he would be moving IMO. But he's not and that's a big risk for a team to take. London is the one team that I think would really love to add him. He plays the game the way Hunter likes and would be an upgrade over either Tymkin or Nelson. I could still see London going after him. But at this point, I think the Bulldogs are likely to just let their local captain heal and finish out the year mentoring their young players.
Prediction: Nurse stays in Hamilton
Jan Jenik - Hamilton Bulldogs
Jenik is one of the true star players available at this year's deadline. He is a difference maker in every sense of the word. His abrasive playmaking ability would help many teams at the current moment, not to mention that he can play center or wing, and play the PP or PK. The only issue is that he's an Import and we know how complicated that market can be. The way I see it is, Guelph, Sudbury, Owen Sound, and Saginaw are the teams that could add an Import at the deadline. I don't think Guelph or Owen Sound go for a big fish like Jenik so that leaves Sudbury and Saginaw. The Spirit are looking to improve their powerplay and add another top 6 forward, and Jenik does both. But it's the Sudbury Wolves that I see being very aggressive in pursuing Jenik. He's exactly the type of playmaker that they need to help elevate a second scoring line behind Quinton Byfield. And with Byfield likely moving on to the NHL next year, in addition to their strong OA's, they need to be aggressive through trade to improve, even if their goaltending is an issue.
Prediction: Jenik goes to Sudbury in exchange for Liam Ross, ERIE 3 2020, SBY 2 2022, SBY 2 2024
Arthur Kaliyev - Hamilton Bulldogs
There will be interest in Kaliyev. He is the current points and goals leader in the OHL. Even if there are some inconsistencies in his play away from the puck, and even if he struggled in last year's playoffs, he's still a dynamic offensive player who could make any OHL team substantially better. The thing is, I'm just not sure the Bulldogs move on from him yet. I think Hamilton sees themselves as a potential contender in the Eastern Conference next year and with Kaliyev being only a 2001, he would still be a big part of that. If the Bulldogs get a package of younger players, especially one involving a top notch '02 or '03 defender, they could be tempted. But there's also no rush to move Kaliyev. If the team does not perform up to expectations next year, they could still move him then as I don't see him being in the NHL next year. And they would still get an amazing return. If he does move, I think Kitchener and Peterborough make the most sense as likely destinations.
Prediction: Kaliyev stays in Hamilton.
Kade Landry - Hamilton Bulldogs
Landry hasn't been quite as good this year for the Bulldogs, losing PP time to Staois, but he's still a veteran OA defender who can help teams with their breakout. I'm just not sure he's the type of defensive stalwart that London or Windsor would add for their playoff run, especially at the expense of current OA's on their roster.
Prediction: Landry stays in Hamilton
Serron Noel - Oshawa Generals
No question, Noel has not had the kind of season that many figured he would. After a very strong performance at the World Junior Summer Showcase, it was expected that Noel would be one of the very best players in the OHL this year and a near lock for the WJC team. But because of his indifferent play, he was left off the WJC camp roster entirely. However, since returning from an upper body injury, Noel has looked like a different player; the physically dominating force in all three zones that many expected he would be. And if he plays like that, he would be a huge upgrade for any team with serious playoff aspirations. Guelph, Kitchener, London, Owen Sound, Saginaw, Ottawa, and Peterborough are all teams that I expect to be in on Noel. Of course, it is also worth explaining why the competitive Generals would look to move Noel in the first place. It's no secret that the Generals intend to bid for the 2021 Memorial Cup. The moves they made last year were about positioning them for that and I expect Oshawa to continue that trend this year. Noel will be in the AHL next year and it would be smart of the Generals to capitalize on that. So who wins the prize? I see the London Knights being the front runner here. I think they badly need an injection of size and physicality to their top 6 and Noel can do that. In this predicted London blockbuster, the Generals take a mild step back this year but get Dunkley, who could be a quality OA player next year and Guskov, who could be a quality Import next year.
Prediction: Noel goes to London (with Nico Gross) in exchange for Nathan Dunkley, Matvey Guskov, Sahil Panwar, KGN 2 2020, HAM 2 2021, HAM 3 2022, KGN 3 2023
Nico Gross - Oshawa Generals
As you can see above, I have Gross moving to the London Knights. It may be a bit of a shocker to see London swap out one of their Import players, but under the Hunters, no stone is left unturned. Guskov is a solid player, but Nico Gross gives London more size and physicality on the back-end, something that they badly need to help out a younger and inexperienced blueline. Gross has taken nice steps forward this year and could flourish under Dale Hunter. Again, the Generals are moving Gross because he is unlikely to return as an OA next year, either because he signs with the New York Rangers, or heads back to Switzerland to play pro. Oshawa would be smart to capitalize on his strong play by dealing him for someone (in this case Guskov) who can really help the team next year.
Prediction: Gross goes to London (with Serron Noel) in exchange for Nathan Dunkley, Matvey Guskov, Sahil Panwar, KGN 2 2020, HAM 2 2021, HAM 3 2022, KGN 3 2023
Brett Neumann - Oshawa Generals
No question, Neumann is one of the top OA's in the OHL this year. His combination of speed and goal scoring ability will be coveted. But there just aren't many teams out there who have the OA room. Yes, Neumann would be an upgrade, but at what cost (in terms of trade value and in terms of a team having to take the risk in changing up the leadership group in the room)? I see Neumann staying put in Oshawa to help them move past the second round again.
Prediction: Neumann stays in Oshawa.
Kyle MacLean - Oshawa Generals
What I said for Neumann goes for MacLean too. The Generals captain, I just don't see being moved. He has way more value to Oshawa than he does to another team. He's a strong two-way presence and a battle tested playoff performer, but is he an offensive upgrade for many of the teams out there looking to swap out an OA? I'm just not sure. Again, Oshawa will be smart about their little retool towards next year.
Prediction: MacLean stays in Oshawa.
Allan McShane - Oshawa Generals
The center market is not very strong in the OHL this year. There just aren't very many up for trade, yet we have some teams (like Saginaw, Flint, Ottawa, Sudbury, London) who could be looking to upgrade down the middle. Having a strong season, there is no question that McShane could bring back a nice return. Here's the thing though; I don't think McShane is a lock to sign with Montreal. And I think Oshawa views this similarly. That means that there is a shot he returns as an OA next year, where he would be one of the top OA's in the OHL and a big piece of a potential Memorial Cup winning squad. With that in mind, I just don't see the Generals moving McShane.
Prediction: McShane stays in Oshawa.
Giovanni Vallati - Oshawa Generals
Rinse, repeat what was said about McShane. Vallati is a fine OHL defender. His offensive production hasn't been quite as good this year, but he's a top OHL blueliner. That said, he's no lock to sign with the Winnipeg Jets and as such, could be an impact OA for next year. Even though I expect the market to be quite strong for his services, I think the Generals roll the dice and assume that he returns next year.
Prediction: Vallati stays in Oshawa.
Akil Thomas - Niagara IceDogs
At this point, Thomas has to be considered the crown jewel of the OHL trade deadline. If there was one player that I had to put money on moving, it would be Thomas. Niagara is in rebuild mode and Thomas is a premier playmaker who will be playing in the AHL next year. They need to recoup some young assets and picks back from their runs in recent years. This is especially true in light of the horrible injury to Tucker Tynan, which really put a damper on the IceDogs' playoff hopes. So who will be in on Thomas? Basically everyone. There is not a competitive team in the OHL that could not use his services. The better question is, which OHL team has the young player that Niagara will demand in return? Would Peterborough move local boy and recent first rounder JR Avon? I don't think they would. Would London part with Stuart Rolofs? What about Sudbury with Landon McCallum? Truthfully, I think the best and most likely dance partner is Saginaw. They want to improve their powerplay and get another top flight center and Thomas would be a great linemate for a guy like Cole Perfetti. Additionally, they could part with someone like Connor Punnett because of how well their other 03's have played (such as Josh Bloom who should have been a first rounder IMO).
Prediction: Thomas goes to Saginaw in exchange for Connor Punnett, OSH 2 2020, SSM 3 2021, SAG 2 2022, KGN 2 2024.
Philip Tomasino - Niagara IceDogs
Given the circumstances, I would be shocked to see Tomasino finish his OHL career in Niagara. But as an '01 (who does not have much of a chance of playing in the NHL next year), the IceDogs can be patient here. They have no reason to rush a deal for him. There will be a market for him, no doubt about it. The center position is one that will be heavily coveted. But given that they can just deal Tomasino next year or this offseason, would Niagara be smart to move him now? Why not wait and give yourself more options. This offseason could open up more talented 03's as trade options from other teams, and with the OHL likely hosting the Memorial Cup next year, the trade market is likely to be more competitive.
Prediction: Tomasino stays in Niagara.
Ivan Lodnia - Niagara IceDogs
I've been impressed with how Lodnia has played this year after being returned by Minnesota into the season. Not always easy to take that demotion in stride. But Lodnia has been an impact player and leader for Niagara. I'm not sure I see many OA's moving and Lodnia is in that group.
Prediction: Lodnia stays in Niagara.
Oliver Castleman - Niagara IceDogs
See Lodnia. Niagara has a great group of OA players this year but the market is just so crowded with very few teams looking to swap. Castleman is a great goal scorer and a hard worker, but he's not likely an upgrade over what other OHL teams currently have in their OA spots.
Prediction: Castleman stays in Niagara
Elijah Roberts - Niagara IceDogs
Another OA, Roberts is a slick skating offensive defender who can really help a team's transition game. But he's not the type of defender that competitive teams often look at to help their playoff push. This is especially true considering an OHL team would need to swap out one of their OA's for him.
Prediction: Roberts stays in Niagara
Matej Pekar - Barrie Colts
A competitive sparkplug, Pekar is a very underrated player. He can play in all situations. He excels on the forecheck. He is a smart player without the puck in the offensive zone and has a good enough release to be a consistent goal scorer. Normally, teams would be all over adding him that deadline. But he happens to be an Import which limits his potential suitors. However, I do expect there to be some. Guelph, Owen Sound, Sudbury, and Saginaw all have Import spots open and I think any four of them could be a potential landing spot. He's the type of player that Owen Sound management loves. But I think Guelph is a terrific spot for him. He wouldn't cost as much as some other impact players and his acquisition would be a great little move to help the Storm's surprising playoff push. Would send a great message to the players if Guelph management were to make a subtle trade like this one; a message of support to the players that management believes in their ability to win a title.
Prediction: Pekar goes to Guelph in exchange for FLT 3 2020, SAG 3 2022, PBO 2 2023.
Tyler Tucker - Barrie Colts
Like Akil Thomas, Tyler Tucker is another player that I absolutely expect to move. Barrie is better positioned to make a run next year and Tucker will be playing in the AHL then. With his size, physicality, offensive skill set, and experience, he will be one of the most highly coveted players on the market. Like the Riley Stillman acquisition by Hamilton a few years ago, Tucker is the type of player who can elevate a team to Champion. I think London will be hard after him, but I don't think the Colts are pleased with the return that they got for Joey Keane last year, so I don't see them making a swap again so soon. I think Peterborough is another team that will be hard after him. But what about Flint? They could use someone like Tucker to help their playoff push (of which I think they are all in while Dellandrea is around and after acquiring Popovich). They also have a talented local kid sitting on the sidelines waiting for a trade (Evan Vierling), who would be a terrific add for Barrie in exchange for Tucker's services. The only thing that could throw a wrench into the plans of dealing Tucker is if the injury he sustained in hitting Ryan O'Rourke the other night is serious.
Prediction: Tucker goes to Flint in exchange for Evan Vierling
Ryan Suzuki - Barrie Colts
I have heard some rumblings that people expect him to move, but I just don't see it. He's coming off of a serious eye injury, only recently returning. And while Barrie may not be able to make waves this year, I expect them to contend for the Eastern Conference title next year. Suzuki would be a big part of that, especially with his chemistry with Tyson Foerster. This is similar to the Arthur Kaliyev situation in Hamilton.
Prediction: Suzuki stays in Barrie.
Luke Bignell - Barrie Colts
One of the few talented role players on the market who isn't an overager. That could make Bignell a very attractive trade target. He is a very physically intense player who can elevate a penalty kill and improve your team's third line. I could see the 67's being very interested. That said, I'm just not sure Barrie moves him. I think they value what he could bring as an OA next year, when they intend to be very competitive. What would be more valuable to the team? The few 2nd and 3rd round picks that they bring back in a deal for him, or having him anchor their PK and 2nd line center spot next year?
Prediction: Bignell stays in Barrie.
Jason Willms - Barrie Colts
Kind of a broken record by now but there just isn't much of a market out there right now for OA's. Willms is a great player. He is one of the best two-way centers in the league and a terrific faceoff man. But most competitive teams in the OHL have similar OA players already. I could see maybe London or Windsor willing to swap out their current players for him, but I think they go in a different direction at the OA spot.
Prediction: Willms stays in Barrie.
Thomas Harley - Mississauga Steelheads
This is the one that I have the hardest time predicting. I'm still torn as of writing this. On one hand, I see the reasoning behind moving Harley. He had a great camp with Dallas this year and the team has two pending UFA's on their blueline which could open up a spot for him on the roster next year. That means that this could be his final OHL season. And the value on his return would be massive. He would command a King's ransom. I could see Peterborough being extremely interested, in particular. On the other hand, the Steelheads are well positioned to be a very competitive team in the Eastern Conference next year. Harley would be a huge part of that if he were to return. Personally, I'm just not sure his defensive game is ready for the NHL and I'm not sure I see Dallas rushing him. That means that I do see him returning. If Mississauga deals him, then they'd have to run the risk of playing against him next year. So what do they do? I'm going to say that...Harley stays. The Steelheads are playing some great hockey of late and I think they focus on being a top 5 team in the Conference this year and higher next year.
Prediction: Harley stays in Mississauga.
Liam Ham - Mississauga Steelheads
Ham plays a ton of minutes for Mississauga currently. No matter the situation, he's on the ice. No question, he could be a nice addition for a playoff team. I could see a team like Windsor swapping out Thomas Stevenson for him, especially given that it wouldn't cost much. But at the same time, does Mississauga think that they can grab the second spot in the division behind Sudbury and values Ham's contribution to the team more than they would a couple mid round picks? I think so.
Prediction: Ham stays in Mississauga.
Luke Moncada - North Bay Battalion
Moncada has quietly had a very nice season and has been among the most improved players in the OHL this year. There's definitely a chance that new GM Adam Dennis keeps him around to be an impact leader in his OA year in 2020/21. That said, given the fact that he plays center, has been one of the league's top penalty killers, and plays with some tenacity, Moncada will be someone that they field a lot of trade calls on. He is the perfect third line player for the OHL playoffs. Is North Bay going to be a competitive team next year? I'm just not convinced that their rebuild has taken them to that point. And if they don't deal Moncada now, there's a chance that he won't have much value as an OA. If you can get a second round pick for him now, I think you do it. A team like Ottawa will be interested. They're trying to improve their third line center spot and Moncada is the type of player who could fit seamlessly into their lineup.
Prediction: Moncada goes to Ottawa in exchange for WSR 2 2022, OTT 4 2023
Brad Chenier - North Bay Battalion
Another quality OA having a good year. Chenier is a hard worker who probably deserves to play in the playoffs. But, again, there just isn't likely a market for him. He's not a large enough upgrade over what some other teams currently have in place.
Prediction: Chenier stays in North Bay.
Quinton Byfield - Sudbury Wolves
I have seen this one mentioned lately. Honestly, it's not the craziest thing that I've seen. Unless the Wolves find a way to upgrade their secondary scoring and get more consistent goaltending, they won't go far in the playoffs. And Byfield will not be playing in the OHL next year, even if he's draft eligible. If Sudbury were to deal him, they would get one hell of a return. But I just don't see it happening. This is a team that has finally righted their ship. How would they explain this one to their fan base? Instead, I see the Wolves adding and really making a push of it. But boy would this make for a story!
Prediction: Byfield stays in Sudbury.
Kurtis Henry - Erie Otters
What I'm going to write about Henry is transferable to Chad Yetman, Jack Duff, and Maxim Golod. The Otters have four quality 2000 born players who will return as OA's next year. While they want to make the playoffs and be competitive, I see the team moving one of these four at this year's deadline, making their OA decision next year easier. That said, which one? Yetman and Golod could be elite offensive players in the OHL next year. Jack Duff is the team's captain. Henry is an alternate. It's not an easy choice. But Henry is the one that I see moving. His size and physicality on the blueline will be coveted by teams looking to shore up their third pairing and PK units. I look at Flint, Guelph, Kitchener, Ottawa, and Windsor being interested.
Prediction: Henry goes to Kitchener in exchange for NIA 3 2020, BAR 2 2024.
Chad Yetman, Maxim Golod, & Jack Duff - Erie Otters
See above and what was said about Henry. I think the Otters move one of their 2000's. I don't think it will be Duff because he's the team's captain and will return to that role next year as an OA. Yetman and Golod would have value for sure as scoring wingers, but if the Otters intend to compete next year, they'll need their offensive contributions as point per game players.
Prediction: All three stay in Erie.
Evan Vierling - Flint Firebirds
He has to move...right? There's no way that Flint lets him stay at home during his NHL draft year. Not when they can use him to make them better currently, as I would say that they are all in on competing this year. The better question is...where would Vierling waive his NTC to go? My guess is that he would want to get closer to home on a team with an opportunity in their top 6. Barrie seems to make the most sense, especially in a deal for a guy like Tyler Tucker (which I have predicted). Mississauga could work too, either for straight up picks (which can be used in other deal) or for a guy like Thomas Harley. What about Oshawa in exchange for picks that they get back in moving Noel? I look forward to seeing him move and getting his draft year back on track.
Prediction: Vierling goes to Barrie in exchange for Tyler Tucker.
Barrett Hayton - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
With the first year of his ELC already burned, I don't expect him back in the OHL following the WJC's. But that hasn't stopped some from speculating. And it likely won't stop an OHL team from picking up his rights. The Kitchener Rangers acquired the rights to Robby Fabbri a few years ago under similar circumstances (even giving up a 3rd round pick for nothing) and he never showed. Can't see Kitchener making that mistake again, even though they could use Hayton's services. I think Peterborough makes the most sense. They could use Hayton's grit and skill in their top 6 for their playoff push.
Prediction: Hayton goes to Peterborough in exchange for several compensatory draft picks (all FC clauses).
Jacob LeGuerrier - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Even with LeGuerrier being a very likely OA next year, I do see the Greyhounds exploring a deal for him. His size and playoff experience will be very attractive to other OHL teams and they could use him to help recover some draft picks given up in recent years. Guelph, Kitchener, London, Saginaw, and Ottawa all make sense. With LeGuerrier being a local kid, I think Ottawa becomes very interested though. Their defense has been destroyed by injury this year and he's the type of player who could slide in and provide that insurance. He can play a third pairing role when everyone returns and be a leader. He could also partner with Merrick Rippon and Cedrick Andree to be Ottawa's OA's next year.
Prediction: LeGuerrier goes to Ottawa in exchange for OTT 3 2020, OTT 2 2021, OTT 4 2023, OTT 2 2024.
Zack Trott - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Trott is kind of an unsung hero for the Greyhounds. Gritty and skilled energy player who can play in any situation, he has been among the team's most consistent players this year. But as a 2000 on a rebuilding team, the Hounds have to make a decision here. As an OA next year, Trott would be an impact player. But as a trade chip now, he could bring back a very nice return. There are a lot of teams out there right now who could use a player like Trott (basically every team with Championship aspirations; London, Ottawa, Peterborough, Flint, Sudbury, etc). I think Peterborough makes the most sense. Trott helps them out in several areas and could be an impact OA for them next year. Now, I have the Hounds making two trades with the Petes, but have kept them separate for a reason as the one involves the rights to Hayton, which is a complicated transaction.
Prediction: Trott goes to Peterborough in exchange for PBO 2 2020, SAR 3 2022, PBO 3 2023.
Holden Wale - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
It's certainly possible that the Hounds completely clean themselves out of veteran players and turn over a new chapter. Wale could be a part of that as a 2000 born defender having a solid season. He could provide quality defensive depth for a playoff run. I've mentioned teams like Ottawa, Kitchener, Guelph, Flint, etc looking for those types. That said, the return for Wale likely wouldn't be extremely strong at this point. The Hounds have done a great job developing defenders in recent years. I think that they would be smart to hang on to Wale and improve his value as an OA. I think that they see this too, as he could continue to improve and be one of the better OA defenders on the market next year, should they find themselves selling again.
Prediction: Wale stays in SSM.
Jaden Peca - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Insert comment about the OA market being saturated. Peca is a great player. He's a competitor with playoff experience. There's a chance that a team like London or Windsor looks to add him in place of what they currently have. But I think they turn their attention to bigger fish or a different position.
Prediction: Peca stays in SSM.
Sean Josling - Sarnia Sting
Josling screams London to me. I feel pretty confident that London will swap out one of (or both) Tymkin/Nelson as their OA's. Josling has had a major breakout season as an OA with the Sting and has been among the scoring leaders in the league. He plays a scrappy game and is the type of player that the Knights need to add to fix their woes in recent weeks. I could see Windsor looking at him to elevate their forward group too. And who knows about a surprise team that isn't happy with their current OA situation. But I'm saying that he ends up in London.
Prediction: Josling goes to London in exchange for Avery Winslow, Josh Nelson, LDN 2 2022, LDN 4 2024.
Ryan McGregor - Sarnia Sting
McGregor hasn't exactly been bad this year. But he hasn't had the type of OA season that I expected of him when the Leafs elected not to sign him and he was returned to the Sting. McGregor is a very smart offensive player and has positional versatility. But as I've said a bunch, is he really an upgrade over what teams currently have in their OA's? I'm just not sure I see a market for him.
Prediction: McGregor stays in Sarnia.
Jordan Kooy - Sarnia Sting
Where in the world is Jordan Kooy? After being acquired in a deal with London, the Vegas draft pick has virtually disappeared. Not much information out there as to why he hasn't been playing either. It goes without saying that he has to be a candidate to move. The return value will be minimal. But there are some teams out there desperate for goaltending help. Would it not be worth a dice roll to see if he can rediscover his form, if not this year, next year as an OA? Would Sudbury not be interested for a minimal price? The Wolves need to do something about their goaltending and bringing Kooy in would make sense.
Prediction: Kooy goes to Sudbury in exchange for WSR 4 2022
Aidan Dudas - Owen Sound Attack
Last player on this list is another one of those 50/50 situations like Mississauga and Thomas Harley. I think the Attack are more likely to add a few small pieces to help their playoff push, than to move Dudas. But I see the reasoning if they did. Dudas is an impact two-way, energy guy who would be one of the most coveted players at this year's deadline. He'll be coming off of a high with Team Canada at the WJC's and would be an impact player for a team with Championship aspirations. The cost would most definitely be a high end young player in addition to draft picks. Kitchener is a team that I could see really swooning over him. He would improve their PK and be a massive upgrade inside their top 6. But I'm just not sure I see Owen Sound moving him. Sure, they're only one point up on a playoff spot. But they're also only four points back of a top 4 spot, the West is that competitive. After having brought in Struthers already, and the fact that I've been seeing their scouts at games involving rebuilding East teams, I think they add and not sell.
Prediction: Dudas stays in Owen Sound.
What are your thoughts? Who stays and who goes?
Monday, December 23, 2019
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