Trades, Trades and More Trades
The CHL Trade Deadline on January 10th was madness this year, with 45 players and 74 draft picks moving to new organizations. It was the kind of frenzy that NHL fans wish would happen on NHL Trade Deadline day.
Callum Booth, Julien Gauthier, Warren Foegele and Noah Carroll were some of the top targets of teams trying to load up for a Memorial Cup run, moving from organizations unlikely to make the playoffs, to some of the top teams in the OHL and QMJHL.
- Booth was traded from Quebec to Saint John, where he immediately becomes the rock in net for a team with Memorial Cup aspirations. Although the roster shuffle caused the Sea Dogs to struggle in the first four games that Booth started with his new team, they have played to their potential over their last five. In the last five games, the Canes’ 2013 third-rounder has allowed just six goals, and posted a shutout in his last contest on January 20th. If you remove the three games where he was pulled this season, Booth is seeing significantly less rubber with the Sea Dogs, dropping from an average of 35.2 shots on goal in 19 games with Quebec to 24.8 in eight games with Saint John.
- Coming off his World Junior Championships performance, Gauthier was also acquired by the Sea Dogs as one of the biggest pieces changing hands at the trade deadline. He has continued his strong play with five points (3G, 2A) in five games, adding 20 shots on goal. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gauthier’s goal scoring increase in the second half of the QMJHL season, as he can focus on what he does best with an improved Saint John roster. He had seven goals in 23 games with Val d’Or prior to the trade.
- Foegele moves from the team with the 12th-best winning percentage in the OHL (Kingston) to the the team with the second-best winning percentage in Erie. His role will change a bit, from a first-line primary scorer in Kingston to a secondary scorer and shutdown center with the Otters. Erie is rich in centers, with Dylan Strome (ARI) and Anthony Cirelli (TBL) so a lot of Foegele’s ice time will likely be matchup based. However, his points-per-game rate has jumped from 1.11 with the Frontenacs to 1.22 in nine games with Erie. Expect this number to stay high for the remainder of the season, as Foegele moved from the lowest scoring team in the OHL to the highest scoring. He will remain one of the OHL’s top face-off men (61%), even if his attempts drop a bit.
- Defenseman Noah Carroll rounds out the Canes prospect group that was moved to a new organization as he was shipped from bottom of the standings Guelph to Sault Ste. Marie at the top. Carroll’s offensive production has been similar at both stops, but his chances have increased immensely with the Greyhounds, as the blueliner’s shot rate has jumped from 1.40 shots-per-game in Guelph to 3.6 shots-per-game with Sault Ste. Marie through eight games. The sixth-rounder’s progress will be interesting to watch, as he is finally on a team that is competitive.
Lorentz Goes Off for Four
Many of you saw last night as Patrick Marleau did his best Steven Lorentz impression with four goals in the third period of San Jose’s game against Colorado. Lorentz accomplished the feat earlier this week, scoring the final four goals of the game in the third period of Peterborough’s 5-3 victory over North Bay. All four goals occurred in the last 15 minutes of the game, and were scored on just six shots. It was Lorentz’s second hat trick of his OHL career, with both coming this season.
Lorentz is producing at a career rate in his overage year for the Petes and continues to be an important cog in Peterborough’s push towards the OHL playoffs.
Matt Filipe’s Confidence Growing In His Freshman Season
Northeastern is in the midst of a disappointing season in Hockey East, with a 9-10-5 record. However, with only seven seniors on the roster, the Huskies have been busy developing their youth and depth over the course of the season.
Filipe is no exception, starting slowly in his freshman season with just four points in his first 16 games. As the season has progressed however, the winger has started to find his footing, playing in an increased role and producing in turn. Over his last eight games, Filipe has five points and is now tied for eighth on the team in scoring. The biggest example of his increased confidence could be his shot rate, which has grown from 1.4 per game in his first 16 contests to 1.9 in his last eight.
The Canes’ 2016 third-rounder was never going to be fast-tracked through the Carolina system, instead preferring to give him ample time to develop both in college and the minors. Even so, it’s an encouraging sign to see his progress at this point in his freshman season.
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