Photo by: Anders Jorgensen
The CHL trade deadline was on Jan. 10 and it did not disappoint. Many of the biggest stars from the Canadian World Junior team who just won gold have now been traded to new junior teams. So let’s take a look at some of the biggest moves.
Olen Zellweger and Ryan Hofer to Kamloops:
Coming off an amazing World Junior tournament where Zellweger was undoubtedly Canada’s go-to defenceman and one of their best players at the tournament. He registered six points in Canada’s seven games but he was bringing more to the table than just offence. Zellweger was matching up against opponent’s top lines all tournament long and averaged over 23 minutes of ice time per game. Hence the Everett Silvertips, his junior team, saw a prime opportunity to move and acquire a boatload of assets.
Everett traded Zellweger and Hofer to the Kamloops Blazers in exchange for Drew Englot, Kaden Hammel, Rylan Peirce and 10 draft picks which includes four first round picks, two-second rounds, one-third rounder, one fourth-rounder, one fifth-rounder and a sixth-round pick. This is arguably the most given up for any asset since Eric Lindros was traded to the Oshawa Generals.
Zellweger’s talents add to an already stacked Kamloops Blazers team with fellow World Junior teammate Logan Stankoven, as well as Daylan Kuefler, Kyle Masters and Fraser Minten. Kamloops currently sits second in the WHL Western Conference and fifth in the league. Adding Olen Zellweger could be the final piece that they need in order to win the 2023 Memorial cup.
Shane Wright to Windsor
Shane Wright began the first part of the 2022-23 season with the Seattle Kraken in the NHL. The stint in the NHL did not go according to plan; Wright was constantly scratched and when he was in the line up he averaged 8:29, the lowest average TOI on the Kraken this season. Wright’s season finally got back on track, gaining confidence in a five game stint in the AHL before being sent to the World Juniors and being named captain of Team Canada. After Wright’s amazing performance at the WJC, Seattle decided that it would be best for his development to finish off the season in Junior, sending him back to the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL.
Just a few days later Wright was traded to the Windsor Spitfires for Ethan Meidama, Gavin McCarthy and seven draft picks (one second, one third, two fouths, one fifth and two sixt- round picks). Wright will be joining a Windsor squad that currently sits second in the Western Conference and fourth in the OHL.
Since being traded Wright has played in one game for the Spitfires, slotting in on the first line in between Maggio and Harrison. Maggio currently leads the team with 59 points (29 goals, 24 assists) while Harrison is fourth on the team with 39 points (19 goals, 20 assists). Wright had one goal and one assist in the Spitfires 7-4 win on Jan. 12 against the Saginaw Spirit.
Wright could potentially add an OHL playoff victory and Memorial Cup victory later in the season, which would potentially set him up to become the third player in the sports history to win a World Junior Championship, Memorial Cup and OHL Cup all in the same year. Only Scott Neidermayer and Corey Perry have done so in the past.
Niagara IceDogs make two trades
The Niagara IceDogs have been the worst team in the OHL thus far this season, having a record of 8-20-6 through 35 games. The acquisition of Alex Assadorian from the Sudbury Wolves for two draft picks is a trade to bring in a veteran presence to end the season and for next season, which is Assadourians’ last eligible season of play. Assadourian is a great north-south player as he uses his speed and strength to get to the dirty areas of the ice and create space for his teammates.
The Ice Dogs also moved Nolan Dann who had 57 points in the 2021-2022 campaign but has regressed this year with just 16 points in 33 games. Dann was traded to the Flint Firebirds for a package of draft picks which included: one second, two-thirds, and three fourth-round picks.
For all information and transactions on the CHL trade deadline visit here.