MHL clubs make a flurry of deals before the trade deadline

The Summerside Western Capitals made the biggest splash before the trade deadline on Thursday, acquiring 20-year-olds Jacob Hickey and Dylan Riley from the Pictou County Weeks Crushers along with a 7th round pick in the 2019 draft and 8th round pick in the 2020 draft for Sam Meisenheimer, Cal MacPherson, 3rd round draft picks in the 2019 and 2020 drafts, and future considerations.

In 129 games with the Crushers, over two and a half seasons, Riley posted 59 goals and 95 assists. This was Hickey’s fourth season with Pictou County, where he’d amassed 66 goals and 70 assists in 146 games. They added even more scoring to Summerside, who already lead the league with 149 goals in 29 games.

The 20-year-old Meisenheimer had joined Summerside in October, posting nine goals and 17 assists in 23 games. MacPherson was drafted by the Western Capitals in the 3rd round, 41st overall, in the 2017 draft. In his first full season in the Maritime Hockey League, the 18-year-old has one goal and 14 assists. The Crushers also recently announced that 16-year-old forward Chase Ellis was assigned to the club after starting the year with the QMJHL’s Drummondville Voltigeurs.

Since the calendar flipped to 2019, the Valley Wildcats have been one of the busiest teams, stating in a release that a rebuild was launched this week with multiple trades:

Date In Out Team
Jan 10 Gavynn Carter 2020 8th Rd Draft Pick, Future Considerations Edmundston
Jan 10 2020 1st Rd Draft Pick, Future Considerations Landon Quinney Yarmouth
Jan 10 Nicholas Soumbasis, 2019 4th Rd Draft Pick, Future Considerations Jean-Mathieu Lavoie South Shore
Jan 9 Future Considerations Tommy Roger, Felix Meunier St-Gabriel-de-Brandon (LHJQ)
Jan 9 Rights to Matt Ellis, conditional 2019 4th Rd Draft Pick, Future Considerations Matt Warner, conditional 2020 6th Rd Draft Pick Campbellton

Valley also announced last week that 16-year-old Alex Drover, drafted 10th overall by the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in the 2018 QMJHL draft and traded to Saint John in December, had been signed. He’s expected to join the Wildcats this weekend.

Staying in the South Division, Yarmouth made just one deal in adding Quinney, who had spent the last two seasons with the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs before hitting the ice with Valley this season. He has five goals and 18 assists in 27 games this season. In Lavoie, the Lumberjacks add a 20-year-old defenseman who played for the Hawkesbury Hawks of the CCHL last season before being acquired by Valley in June. Truro took a stand pat approach to the deadline, as they have all season, with the third place club not making a single trade.

Amherst made two deals on deadline day, adding 19-year-old defenseman Michal Sivek from Summerside for a conditional 2019 2nd round draft pick, a conditional 2020 8th round draft pick, and future considerations, as well as sending Matt Sartoris to Edmundston for the rights to 18-year-old defenseman Dominic Hachey and a 2019 5th round draft pick. Sivek tallied one goal and six assists in 25 games for the Western Capitals this season. The 6’6″ tall Sartoris, a 20-year-old, was in his third season in Amherst. The Ramblers say Hachey will continue to play in Moncton for the Moncton Junior B Vito’s and will be available when needed.

Right behind the Western Capitals in the North, Campbellton has made a number of recent additions. Mentioned above was the trade for Warner, who has seven goals and 13 assists this season. Now into his third full MHL year, Warner has a career total of 34 goals and 47 assists in 147 games for Woodstock, Yarmouth, and Valley. On Wednesday, the Tigers acquired Brendan Bornstein from Grand Falls for Lucas MacAulay, the rights to Evan Jackson, Amherst’s 2019 1st round pick, and future considerations. The move adds even more scoring punch to the Campbellton blueline. Into his fourth season with the Woodstock/Grand Falls franchise, Bornstein totalled 32 goals and 104 assists in 172 games. The Tigers also added Kyle Petten, who was assigned to the club from the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads, and dealt 19-year-old forward to Tommy Callaghan to the LHJQ’s Lac St-Louis for goaltender Marc-Antoine Berube-Jalbert. The move between the pipes was needed as Isaak Pelletier, the MHL’s rookie of the month for October, was recently called up to the QMJHL’s Charlottetown Islanders.

Grand Falls made two recent deals with NOJHL clubs, obtaining the rights to 18-year-old defenseman Jordan Spadafore from the Rayside Balfour Canadians for future considerations, and 19-year-old forward Christian Snyder from Kirkland Lake.

Edmundston made another deal as the deadline hit on Thursday as 19-year-old defenseman Tommy Bertrand (3 goals, 13 assists in 29 games) was added from Terrebonne of the LHJQ. The Blizzard also announced 18-year-old Olivier-Luc Haché was joining the club from the QMJHL’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.

St. Stephen was quiet leading up to the deadline, apart from picking up defenseman Dayne Chasse from Amherst for Summerside’s 2019 3rd round draft pick, and Miramichi made no deals at all.

All in all, it’s been a busy week for MHL clubs and now the fun really begins as teams gear up for the final two months of the season.