Thursday, January 4, 2018

Trading period nearing a close

SAINT JOHN - After opening the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League trading period with a bang, the Saint John Sea Dogs have been fairly quiet.

The Sea Dogs pulled off one of the biggest trades in recent QMJHL history on Dec. 19, sending captain Joe Veleno to the Drummondville Voltigeurs in exchange for five draft picks. The deal signalled that the Dogs were indeed entering a rebuild process - but they have yet to make any other major deals.

Saint John has made just two other trades since the Veleno deal, acquiring Yohan Plamondon from Val-d'Or and swapping Isiah Campbell for Tommy Da Silva with Cape Breton.

Following the Veleno deal, the Sea Dogs seemed poised to make more deals as they have done in past rebuilding years. The team has plenty of older players who could make an impact on teams that nearing the peak of their cycles.

Deals could still be made obviously, but the clock is ticking. The QMJHL's trading period ends on Saturday afternoon.

There have been a plethora of major deals going done over the past week in the QMJHL. The Acadie-Bathurst Titan have made the most noise in the Maritimes Division, acquiring Evan Fitzpatrick, Olivier Galipeau and Mitchell Balmas.

The Charlottetown Islanders, meanwhile, continue to be the biggest surprise in the CHL this season. They've made a few smart moves, picking up Derek Gentile and Cameron Askew. The team also got forward Brett Budgell, a second-round pick last June, to join the club for the second half.

Victoriaville has also made a few big trades while the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada are expected to acquire Cape Breton's Drake Batherson following the completion of the world juniors.

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