Sault native Chris Thorburn is off to Plymouth, having been dealt by the Saginaw Spirit to the Whalers in an Ontario Hockey League trade finalized Monday afternoon.
The 19-year old Thorburn was Saginaw's leading scorer at the time of the trade, having produced 19 goals and 38 points in 37 games.
In exchange for Thorburn and a second-round pick at this year's OHL draft, Saginaw gets 16-year old right winger Taylor Raszka, who was Plymouth's first-round pick in 2002. If Thorburn plays as an overage next season, Saginaw will get a fifth round pick in 2004 to complete the deal.
In going from last place Saginaw to a contender in Plymouth, Thorburn had mixed emotions. But he waived the no-trade clause in his contract in agreeing to the move.
Thorburn went to Saginaw from North Bay with the transplanted Centennials' franchise last fall. The classy centre was North Bay's first choice, sixth overall, at the 1999 OHL draft.
Saginaw general manager Costa Papista said, "It wasn't easy," to trade Thorburn, who was team captain.
"Anyone who knows Chris knows what a first-rate individual he is," said Papista. "But we're building a team here and we're getting a good, young player In Raszka in return."
Raszka is a native of Petersburg, Mich.
In joining Plymouth, Thorburn will hook up with fellow 19-year old Sooite Cole Jarrett. Jarrett is averaging a point per game with Plymouth as its best defenceman.