Monday, June 4, 2012

Trade Winds Beginning To Blow

Both the Halifax Chronicle Herald and Metro Halifax are reporting today that three of Saint John’s 20-year old players could be on the market. The trading period opens on Friday.

“There are also a handful of top 20-year-olds that could be a good fit on the Mooseheads,” writes Willy Palov of the Chronicle Herald. “Among the players who could fill a need in Halifax are Victoriaville’s Stefan Fournier and Brandon Hynes, P.E.I.’s Ben Duffy, Saint John’s Kevin Gagne, Stephen MacAulay and Pierre Durepos.”

“Among the names rumoured to be available are Ben Duffy of the P.E.I. Rocket, Stephen MacAulay, Kevin Gagne and Pierre Durepos of the Saint John Sea Dogs and Stefan Fournier and Brandon Hynes of the Victoriaville Tigres,” writes Metro’s Matthew Wuest.

It’s hard to even call this a rumour because it’s just common sense that the Sea Dogs are likely asking around to see if they can get some assets for their overagers and teams are likely inquiring about them. It’s always nice to have veteran players around – especially on what should be a young Sea Dogs team next season – but in a rebuilding year getting prospects or draft picks is the name of the game.

Gagne and Durepos are both solid and experienced defensemen and would be beneficial to a contending team. MacAulay, a gritty two-way forward, could also be a key player on a contending team.

Saint John's other potential 20-year old players next season include Maxime Villemaire, Spencer MacDonald, Ian Saab, Jason Seed, and Grant West.

It’s going to be interesting to see what happens over the next week. This is the first time in the Mike Kelly era that the team has been in rebuild mode. There are a lot of question marks heading into next season but some of those should be answered to some extent by the end of the weekend.

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft is this Saturday and the Sea Dogs have two first round picks to work with. The Dogs currently hold the 8th and 11th overall picks.

There is also the Canadian Hockey League Import Draft to look forward to later this month. There is always the possibility that the Sea Dogs could try to swing a deal to get a higher pick(s) in that draft as well.

Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

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