Thursday, January 8, 2009

Huge Names Dealt at CHL Deadline

The trade deadline in the CHL is January 10th, except for the Q which does it's own thing and set today as the big day. In all leagues there has been significant movement already and more is expected before Saturday. Here's a few of the bigger deals:

In the OHL the marquee trade centers around John Tavares who has been shipped from Oshawa to the London Knights (no surprise there). The Knights and Windsor were the two teams competing for Tavares with the Hunters coming out on top. What's interesting to me is that London doesn't just get Tavares but defenceman Michael Del Zotto as well, a 1st round pick in 2008 of the New York Rangers.

To London: (F) John Tavares + (D) Michael Del Zotto + (G) Daryl Borden
To Oshawa: (4) 2nd round draft picks + (2) 3rd round draft picks + (F) Christian Thomas + (D) Scott Valentine (G) Michael Zador

That's a lot of future to give up for Tavares (and Del Zotto) but the Hunters have always been uber-aggressive when it comes to acquiring top talent. This should make them the top dogs in the OHL although Windsor is still mighty tough... and the deadline is still a couple days away.

In the QMJHL the biggest name to move was Chris Didomenico who was dealt by Saint John to Drummondville the day after he'd helped Canada win gold at the 2009 WJC in Ottawa. That swap breaks down like this:

To Saint John: Mathieu Gingras + Simon Giroux + a 1st in '09 and a 2nd in '10
To Drummondville: Chris Didomenico (TOR '07)

The Sea Dogs also traded off defenceman Alex Grant and a 5th rounder to Shawinigan in exchange for Danick Gauthier and a 2nd in ('09) and a 1st ('10). Grant was a 4th round pick by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2007.

The WHL deals began in earnest yesterday with the Kyle Beach to Lethbridge news (see Dean's blog entry below). Today the names kept rolling...

To Spokane: Brady Calla (FLA '07)
To Kamloops: Seth Compton + 3rd Rd ('10)

To Kelowna: Ryley Grantham (CGY '07) + 5th ('11)
To Moose Jaw: Dylan Hood

To Kamloops: Curtis Kulchar + 3rd and 4th ('09) + 2nd ('10)
To Vancouver: Nick Ross (PHX '07) + Alex Rodgers

Spokane does well adding experience, grit and leadership in Calla. Moose Jaw does well getting Hood, he's a decent player and at the same time the rockets got a bunch tougher by adding the always ready to rumble Ryley Grantham to their mix. I'm not a big Nick Ross guy but at the junior level he's decent enough. There's a reason he's on his 3rd team in just over a year though.

I had conversations with a couple people around the Edmonton Oil Kings this week who say the team is really not in either the Buyer or Seller mode. They're willing to do something to make the team better but not if it's going to take away from the future - moving a veteran is possible but don't expect to see top kids being moved from the Oil Kings.

I'm sure that netminder Dalyn Flette could be had for a later round pick but I don't know if there is anyone shopping for a second string netminder. Would the team consider moving 20-year-olds like Brandon Lockerby, Jeff Lee or Brenden Dowd? Tough to imagine that they could and still remain in the playoff hunt.

It should be interesting to see what Bob Green and his team decided to do. They're right in the thick of the playoff hunt but aren't considered contenders... a serious playoff stretch drive and a potential top 8 Conference finish might help at the ticket booth though.

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