It’s about what made the most sense.
That was the approach for the Soo Greyhounds leading up to Thursday’s Ontario Hockey League trade deadline.
With a team that is battling for top spot in its division, things were quiet for the Greyhounds at the deadline passed at noon Thursday.
Greyhounds General Manager Kyle Raftis said there were “conversations early this morning but nothing that got to the stages where I would say it was close or we ran out of time.”
“You want to make sure it makes sense for the player, who has been really good for you and played some great years for you and where you might be sending them or where they’re coming from when you’re adding them,” Raftis said. “For us it was about if there was something that made sense for our team or there was something out there that was really going to help the organization moving forward.”
Raftis added that the time the Greyhounds spent without Barrett Hayton (due to injury and the World Juniors), Morgan Frost (due to the World Juniors), and Matthew Villalta (due to injury) allowed the team to “get a sense of what your younger group looks like.”
“There’s a lot of growth that has come from September to now and there’s a lot more to come from some of our younger guys moving forward,” Raftis said.
The team made a pair of deals in the days leading up to Thursday’s deadline, which included adding forward Jaden Peca from the Barrie Colts and Drew Wawrow and picks from the Sudbury Wolves in exchange for Anthony DeMeo.
“Jaden Peca is a great fit for us and being able to add picks and Drew Wawrow made sense for us,” Raftis said of the two deals.
The Greyhounds GM added that the deal that sent DeMeo to Sudbury was also not something requested by DeMeo.
“He’s been on a lot of good Greyhound teams, he’s been an excellent teammate and he played a lot for us last year,” Raftis said. “We had some young guys progress maybe a little bit ahead of schedule and they deserve some of those minutes.”
“Being 19, it’s only fair that you find him an opportunity,” Raftis added. “He wasn’t demanding a trade or anything like that. We talked about it before the break that if there’s an opportunity to get a regular chance to play, I wouldn’t stand in his way.”
Raftis added that getting a commitment from import pick Jaromir Pytlik will help the team as well.
The plan when selecting Pytlik in the CHL Import Draft last summer was that he was “50/50” on playing locally this year but would look at joining the team next year in his NHL draft year.
“We have the right environment right now to put him in,” Raftis said. “He skates really well, he’s big and he’s got good skill. It’s only going to be a matter of time before he really takes off.”
Pytlik is expected to be in the lineup Friday night when they Greyhounds return to action at home against the Windsor Spitfires.