Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Islanders are going for it

Former Saint John Sea Dogs defenceman Will Thompson is now a member of the Gatineau Olympiques.

The Charlottetown Islanders confirmed a major deal yesterday, trading Thompson, defenceman Marc-Olivier Alain, forward Shawn Boudrias and forward Carl Gervais to the Olympiques in exchange for defenceman Nicolas Meloche, goaltender Mark Grametbauer and defenceman Jean-Sebastien Taillefer.

The deal indicates that the Isles are making a run this year and, if things go as planned for both teams, the Maritimes Division title should come down to Charlottetown and Saint John. The Sea Dogs currently sit first overall in the division (and league) with 48 points while the Islanders sit second with 41 points.

The Sea Dogs are 3-1-1-0 against the Islanders this season while Charlottetown is 2-3-0-0 against Saint John. The two teams last met on Dec. 17 at Harbour Station where the Dogs won easily, 8-2.

Charlottetown already had a good defence, but it got even better with this deal. Their backend now stars Meloche (Colorado), Cody Donaghey (Ottawa), Guillaume Brisebois (Vancouver) and Pierre-Olivier Joseph (top 2017 NHL Draft prospect). Up front, the Islanders averaged 4.11 goals per game in the first half - only Saint John had more - and will get even better when Daniel Sprong rejoins the team.

Thompson, meanwhile, was a first-round pick of the Sea Dogs in the 2013 QMJHL Entry Draft. He spent one year with Saint John, recording three goals and seven assists in 41 games. He was traded to Charlottetown in exchange for a 2015 first round pick.

In 196 career QMJHL games, the Fredericton native has 11 goals and 35 assists.

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