December 08, 2015

News & notes, something has to give with OA's

The OHL trade deadline is less than five weeks away and the 67's are in need of a reboot.

After an 0-3-0 weekend, the Barberpoles are in a mid-season crisis, out of one of the East's four home ice advantage spots and trending downwards.

Jeff Brown has come out and said he won't pay exorbitant prices for defencmen or trade his overagers without getting fair value, but sooner than later he isn't going to have much of a choice.

With Niagara picking up Pavel Jenys and Alex Nedeljkovic, they'll probably overlap Ottawa at some point too.

To remain a contender, Ottawa needs to build by adding a 19-year old or two, but the first step is to take away the elephant in the room, and remove one of their four 20-year olds, something they'll have to do anyways by the deadline.

Sam Studnicka

Studnicka is the most valuable overager to the team, but he also might be the only one who still has trade value as the OA market winds to a close.

Born near Windsor, starting his career in Windsor and alternating between center and right wing, Studnicka would be the perfect fit to go back to the Spitfires, but they just finished solving their four-OA conundrum.

Unless Windsor can move '95-born import Markus Soberg, and get Studnicka back for cheap, it's not plausible.

Studnicka may be a fit in Niagara, but he'd be a middle-six forward, not an asset Niagara would give up anything substantial for, let alone make it worth it for Ottawa to trade a coach's favourite to a team they could play in the playoffs.

Nevin Guy

Guy is a powerplay specialist who isn't doing a lot of powerplay work lately, and his occasional demotion to the second man advantage unit could be a sign that his role is diminishing.

Mississauga has some large, raw young blueliners, maybe they could use Guy to help their breakout, but he isn't going to bring a lot to Ottawa, if anything, and Brown insisted he would want fair value.

Nathan Todd

If there's any recency bias, Todd's missing two games this weekend are showing that he's not the irreplaceable top-six center he was down the stretch last season.

Although he had a goal in London, he was on the ice for two shorthanded goals against, and went 3-for-14 in the faceoff dot.

Ottawa used a 5th-round pick to draft him as a 19-year old, so as a 20-year old that comes with an OA card, he'd be worth even less in the trade market now.

Unless a lower-seed in the West with an OA spot available, like Sault Ste. Marie or Owen Sound, needs a good shutdown center to give them a fighting chance against one of the contenders, or if Mississauga needs a two-way forward to complement all their playmakers, Todd probably isn't going anywhere.

Evan de Haan

Based solely on ice time, it would seem that de Haan is the odd man out.

He's a smart defenceman who can fill in on a powerplay, move the puck and play in the corners from time to time, but most teams are set with bottom-pairing defencemen who can fill in on special teams.

If the 67's were to release him, he may get picked up.

But with Ryan Orban and Stepan Falkovsky stepping up so much over the last 15 games, there's very little space for de Haan on the blueline, let alone at the expense of another overager.


  • Shane Prince probably isn't as vocal as he was four years ago at this time when he was cut from Team USA's Under-20 roster, but he's probably laughing somewhere at the Americans' decision not to take prolific major junior scorers Conor Garland and Jeremy Bracco.
  • Troy Henley is back in the OHL and doing so with a division rival.  The Peterborough Petes acquired the strong-skating blueliner, hoping that the blip in his development in Ottawa and Saginaw is a one-off.
  • Have to wonder if David Pearce is ever going to get the tap to come back up this season.  He moved to play for the Kanata Lasers, close to the 67's, but he's only put up eight points this year, and Connor Warnholtz seems to have a lock on the utility fourth-line left winger for the time being.
  • He's still very young for a defenceman, but William Brown hasn't shown the same upside he did in his first rookie and training camps with the 67's.  Without totally mortgaging their future, he's a piece that they could trade if they wanted add a non-marquee player and be petty-buyers at the deadline.

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