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Big names highlight OHL trade deadline

31 players and 64 draft picks change hands in the 36 hours prior to Tuesday's OHL trade deadline
Photo courtesy Terry Wilson/OHLImages

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The rosters are now set.

The Ontario Hockey League trade deadline passed at noon on Tuesday and while the final hours leading up to it weren’t as busy as what Monday brought, teams continued to tinker with their rosters as the playoffs approach.

While not due to lack of an attempt to get something done, the Soo Greyhounds made just one deal prior to the deadline, dealing defenceman Theo Calvas to the Sarnia Sting for a seventh-round draft pick in 2018.

Greyhounds General Manager Kyle Raftis said the deal gives Calvas an opportunity to get some added ice time on a Sting team that had six defencemen rostered prior to the move and also allows the Greyhounds to continue to distribute ice time to other players.

“It gives us an opportunity to keep Anthony DeMeo in the lineup and keep seeing him improve along with Jacob LeGuerrier,” Raftis said.

While the team had discussions on potential moves, Raftis said the moves of some of the high-end players wouldn’t force the Greyhounds hand leading up to the deadline.

“Sometimes you forget what got you to that point,” Raftis said. “It’s nice to add in high-end names but they have to make you better as a group. Sometimes it’s not always the most talented team, it’s the best team that wins.”

Raftis added that getting captain Blake Speers back in the lineup is a big boost as well.

Speers broke his wrist in his first game with the team after returning from the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and then suited up in the recently-completed World Junior Hockey Championship with Team Canada. He has played in just two games with the Greyhounds this season heading into action this week.

“With Blake, everybody knows where he fits in and he knows the group,” Raftis said. “When he jumps over the boards on the power play, you’re not going to have somebody else upset because they were in that spot.”

“You have to really watch with the chemistry because as much as you want to add, sometimes you don’t want to get away from what made your team successful in the first place,” Raftis added. “It’s a balancing act.”

Mixed in among the hustle and bustle of movement on Monday was the Guelph Storm signing of local product Nolan Makkonen. The 17-year-old blueliner was a ninth-round pick by the Storm in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection. He spent the first half of the season with the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Soo Eagles where he scored one goal and three points in 31 games.

“Nolan had a very strong training camp and followed that up with excellent play with the Soo Eagles of the NOJHL,” Storm General Manager Mike Kelly said in a release.

“He is very strong, possesses a heavy shot, and makes very good decisions on the defensive side of the puck,” Kelly continued.

While the Greyhounds weren’t overly busy when it comes to completing deals, there were a number of deals that came in as the deadline hit.

Other deals completed on Tuesday:

  • Hamilton traded forward Trent Fox to Mississauga for a fifth-round pick in 2017 (originally Kingston’s), a fourth-round pick in 2019, and a third-round pick in 2020 (originally Barrie’s)
  • Kingston traded Zack Dorval, a native of Hearst, Ont., to Ottawa for a fourth-round pick in 2017 (originally Sarnia’s)
  • Kitchener traded Mason Kohn to Oshawa for a second-round draft pick in 2019 (originally Kingston’s), a third-round pick in 2021 and a conditional third round pick in 2022 (originally Kingston’s)
  • Saginaw traded Kirill Maksimov, a third-round pick in 2018 and a second-round pick in 2019 (originally Sarnia’s) to Niagara for Hayden Davis
  • Saginaw also traded Robert Proner to Barrie for a fifth-round pick in 2018 (originally Erie’s)
  • Oshawa traded Daniel Robertson to Windsor for a third-round pick in 2024
  • Mississauga traded Jason Smith to Barrie for a seventh-round pick in 2017
  • Guelph traded Jake Bricknell to Peterborough for a fifteenth-round pick in 2018
  • Sudbury traded Ben Garagan to Hamilton for a fifth-round pick in 2019 and a conditional fifth-round pick in 2022
  • Hamilton also dealt Adam Laishram, a second-round pick in 2017 (originally Windsor’s) and an eighth-round pick in 2017 to Windsor for a second-round pick in 2017 (originally Niagara’s), a fourth-round pick in 2017 (originally Kingston’s) and a conditional second round pick in 2026

In total, 31 players and 64 draft picks were dealt in the 36-hour period leading into the trade deadline with many of the major deals happening on Monday.