December 11, 2013

67's Acquire Hughes, Local Products Blair and Stewart Leave Team

Of the three goaltenders that the Ottawa 67’s held onto coming out of training camp, none of them are still with the team three months later, as Jacob Blair is now awaiting a trade.

In a move that put Blair on the block, Ottawa acquired the rights to London draft choice Connor Hughes.

“Extremely excited to be part of the (67’s),” Hughes took to Twitter to say.  “Can't wait to get started up there.”

After training camp, surprise story Daniel Mannella declined the invite to join the Barberpoles, preferring instead to go after NCAA aspirations.

Clint Windsor, who came into the season as the expected starter, was released and went to the Maritime A League before recording a start as an OHL overager.

With Philippe Trudeau starting the last 18 games, and Blair being pulled in two of his eight appearances this season, the writing was on the wall that Blair wasn’t the starting goaltender of the future.

Without the ability to take goalies in the import draft, the same route that saved the 67’s when they picked Petr Mrazek, it’s likely that another trade for a goalie will have to happen this summer.

In the 2013 priority draft, Ottawa selected highly-touted Ben Blacker, but his commitment to Western Michigan University doesn’t seem like a decision that’s going to be reversed.

Drafting a netminder this upcoming draft won’t give the team enough stability next season once Trudeau graduates due to age.

It’s very possible that Hughes stays with Ottawa as a long-term backup or 1-A goaltender. 

His brother Aidan, also a goalkeeper, is eligible for the 2015 OHL draft.

The older Hughes may get his first OHL start on Friday when the 67's take on Belleville, the team that Blair recorded his only win of the season against.

Blair, a local product from Kanata, leaves the 67’s with a 7-21-2 record as an OHL netminder.

Fellow hometown player Owen Stewart has also left the team, deciding that he didn’t want to play Major Junior hockey anymore.

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