With a break between exhibition games, the Soo Greyhounds announced a player signing on Wednesday as a young defenceman committed to the club.
The team has inked 2018 draft pick Matthew Halushak after the youngster impressed during training camp and his first exhibition game with the club.
Selected in the ninth round of the 2018 OHL Priority Selection, Halushak spent the 2018-19 season with the Thunder Bay North Stars of the Superior International Junior Hockey League.
In 52 games with the North Stars, Halushak scored three goals and finished the season with 34 points.
During training camp, Greyhounds general manager Kyle Raftis spoke highly of the blueliner and credited his play in camp following Wednesday’s signing.
“Matthew made an impression on the staff each and every day throughout training camp,” Raftis said in a prepared statement.
After the Greyhounds exhibition win over Sudbury on Saturday night, coach John Dean credited the 17-year-old for his play in the contest.
“As the game went on, he really improved,” Dean said. “You can see the confidence.”
Halushak joins a blueline that got younger over the summer after the graduations of Mac Hollowell and Jordan Sambrook after last season.
Following cuts over the weekend, Halushak is one of two rookie defencemen remaining with the squad, the other being 2019 first round pick Jacob Holmes.
As it stands, the Greyhounds blueline also includes veterans Jacob LeGuerrier, Holden Wale, Ryan O’Rourke, Robert Calisti, and Drew Wawrow in addition to the pair of rookies.
In other news around the league, after dealing Christian Propp to the Greyhounds in June, the North Bay Battalion dealt the other member of their goaltending tandem from last season on Wednesday.
The team dealt Christian Purboo to the Sudbury Wolves in exchange for a third round pick in 2021 (originally Oshawa’s), a fourth round pick in 2020 (originally Owen Sound’s), a fourth round pick in 2021, and a conditional fifth round pick in 2021.
Heading into a rebuilding season, the Guelph Storm dealt overage goaltender Anthony Popovich to the Flint Firebirds on Tuesday.
The Storm received a third round pick in 2020 and a fifth round pick (originally Oshawa’s), also in 2020, in return for the overage netminder.