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All in the family as Greyhounds complete deal with Firebirds

The Soo Greyhounds completed a pair of trades on Sunday, one of which saw the team acquire the older brother of rookie forward Travis Hayes from the Flint Firebirds

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While there wasn't any on-ice action, Sunday turned into a busy day off the ice for the Soo Greyhounds.

With the Ontario Hockey League trade deadline looming, the team completed a pair of deals Sunday, adding a pair of players in separate deals.

In a deal involving the Flint Firebirds, the Greyhounds acquired veteran forward Gavin Hayes in exchange for forwards Alex Kostov, Connor Clattenburg and four draft picks.

Shortly after the deal between the Greyhounds and Firebirds, the Sault announced a second deal that saw the team swap overage forwards with the Barrie Colts.

That deal saw the Greyhounds send Brenden Sirizzotti and three draft picks south to Barrie for Jacob Frasca and a draft pick.

In exchange for Hayes, the Greyhounds dealt a second round pick in 2027, a third round pick in 2025 (originally Saginaw’s), a fourth round pick in 2026, and a fifth round pick in 2025 to Flint along with Clattenburg and Kostov.

For the Greyhounds, general manager Kyle Raftis is hopeful that the move for Hayes is one that could pay dividends going forward.

“I don’t think there’s a more dangerous player that’s going to get moved at the deadline than Hayes,” Raftis said. “He’s somebody that can score all over the o-zone. He’s just going to demand top matchups against him. With our forward group, we’ve been able to produce a lot of offence, our group works extremely hard, but if we can add another weapon, with him, it was something that we were really hard after.”

Raftis said Hayes was a player the Greyhounds had keen interest in potentially adding to the roster.

“He’s a great skater. He’s a big body. He plays hard. It’s not just a finesse, perimeter guy when I say he’s a shooter. He’s somebody that can demand the puck,” Raftis said. “I look back to that series we lost against them when he was 17 years old, and he was already dictating play out there. You could just see him grow into his game.”

In 27 games with the Firebirds this season, Hayes had 19 goals and 36 points.

In 158 career games with Flint, the veteran had 79 goals and 166 points.

Hayes is coming off a gold medal win with the United States in the recently completed World Junior Hockey Championship in Sweden where he had two assists in seven games.

Hayes is a third round NHL pick of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Firebirds general manager Dave McParlan spoke of the move as one that allows the Firebirds to attempt to set the team up for the future.

“This move sets us up both to improve in the near future and to help build sustained success,” McParlan said in a release. “We are excited about the players we received and the high-end draft picks, which will contribute towards building a championship-contending roster.”

McParlan also called Hayes “an enormous part of our franchise for the past three seasons.”

“What he did on the ice was of course spectacular, but the way he conducted himself and was a leader in the dressing room never went unnoticed,” McParlan also said.

The trade also unites Hayes with his younger brother Travis, a rookie forward with the Greyhounds.

Both Clattenburg and Kostov are in their second OHL seasons.

After a slow start offensively, Kostov has come on of late and heads to Flint after scoring seven goals and 14 points in 36 games this season with the Greyhounds.

The 17-year-old had 11 goals and 27 points in 88 games with the Greyhounds over two seasons.

Meanwhile, Clattenburg suited up in 30 games with the Greyhounds this season, scoring four times and adding eight assists. The 18-year-old winger, who missed the Greyhounds' past three games due to injury, suited up in 86 games with the Sault in his OHL career, scoring six times and adding 16 assists.

“Those are two really excellent people,” Raftis said of Clattenburg and Kostov. “They were excellent representatives of the Sault both on and off the ice. They were both kind of coming into their own game right now, too.”

Sunday’s overage swap between the Colts and Greyhounds saw the Sault send Sirizzotti, a second round pick in 2024 (originally Flint’s), a third round pick in 2026 (originally Kingston’s), and a fourth round pick in 2025 (originally Kingston’s) to Barrie in exchange for Frasca and an eighth round pick in 2024 (originally Kingston’s).

Frasca suited up in 17 games this season with the Colts, missing an extended stretch due to an injury suffered in early November.

The veteran forward had seven goals, including a pair last night in the Colts' win over the Greyhounds in Barrie, and 12 points this season.

The overage forward is coming off a 2022-23 season that saw him score 27 goals and 69 points in 68 games with the Colts before adding six goals and 10 points in 13 playoff games.

In 166 career OHL games, Frasca has 44 goals and 106 points.

“What he brings for us is that great Swiss Army Knife player that he can play centre, can take a hard draw whether it’s on the PK or maybe on the power play,” Raftis said of Frasca. “He can cause a lot of issues playing net front on that power play. He can play the wing if we need him to.”

Raftis added that Frasca “has great skill (and) plays hard.”

“He does all those things that tick boxes as you go into the playoffs,” Raftis added. “He’s somebody that’s going to be a tough matchup for a lot of teams.”

Barrie general manager and coach Marty Williamson called the move a tough one to make.

“Anytime you move a player like Jacob who has spent his entire career here in Barrie is tough,” Williamson said in a prepared statement. “Jacob has been a great member of our organization since we first drafted him in the third round of the OHL draft in 2019. We’re proud of how he has continued to grow his game and developed as a person.”

Williamson also said that, in adding Sirizzotti, the Colts are adding a “strong, offensive-minded forward who has proven himself in this league as someone who can contribute on the scoresheet.”

“We’re looking forward to (adding) his skillset and veteran presence to our group,” Williamson also said.

In 38 games this season with the Greyhounds, Sirizzotti had 14 goals and 28 points and had 28 goals and 67 points in 77 career games with the team after being acquired from the Niagara IceDogs in exchange for a pair of draft picks in December 2022.

Sirizzotti has 53 goals and 138 points in 182 career games in the OHL split between the Ottawa 67’s, Niagara, and the Greyhounds.

“He was great for us,” Raftis said of Sirizzotti.

Raftis added that the deal was more of giving the Greyhounds “a different look.”

With the trade deadline for overage players set for Tuesday at noon and all other players 24 hours later, Raftis said other potential moves aren’t a guarantee, but “there’s still maybe a couple of areas that we could look at.”

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Brad Coccimiglio

About the Author: Brad Coccimiglio

A graduate of Loyalist College’s Sports Journalism program, Brad Coccimiglio’s work has appeared in The Hockey News as well as online at in addition to regular freelance work with SooToday before joining the team full time.
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