Islanders captain O’Brien breaks bone in wrist
Charlottetown Islanders captain Quinn O’Brien’s major junior career is over.
General manager Grant Sonier said Thursday the forward broke a bone in his wrist in the first shift of Wednesday’s contest with the Moncton Wildcats.
O’Brien stayed in the game and even got in a fight later in the period. The Litchfield, Que., native, who turns 21 on Jan. 4, had been playing the past six weeks or so with a torn labrum in his hip.
O’Brien was expected to have surgery Thursday on his wrist and Sonier said the recovery time is three to four months.
“He is one of the highest character kids I’ve ever been around,” Sonier said.
O’Brien was acquired a year ago from the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, not because he can light up a score sheet, but because he is a physical player and a good leader.
He was named captain in late October.
Sonier said O’Brien came to the rink early and left late while taking care of his teammates on and off the ice.
“He’s a really good captain that we’re going to miss,” he said. “His character is going to take him a long way in life.”
The six-foot-three, 215-pound forward had four goals and 76 penalty minutes in 31 games this season, his fourth in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).
The Islanders received more bad news Thursday.
Alex McQuaid took a puck off his skate in Wednesday’s practice on what Sonier called a routine two-on-one drill and broke a bone in his foot. He is expected to be out six to eight weeks.
Two QMJHL teams announced they had traded players to the Islanders on Thursday, but Sonier wouldn’t confirm them when contacted by The Guardian.
The league’s trade period runs from Dec. 19 to Jan. 6, but during the period it is closed for things like Christmas and New Year’s.
The Blainville-Boisbriand Armada said on its Twitter account it had traded Alexis Vanier to the Islanders for a fifth-round pick in 2016.
Vanier is six-foot-five, 227pound 21-year-old defenceman, who has played the majority of his career with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar and Sherbrooke Phoenix.
Later Thursday night the Drakkar said on its website they traded Nicolas Leblond to the Islanders for a fourth-round pick in 2017.
Leblond, who turns 20 on Jan. 17, is a five-foot-10, 163-pound right-winger. He has five goals, seven assists and 79 penalty minutes in 33 games this season, his third in the QMJHL.
Quinn O’Brien played a season with the Charlottetown Islanders and was the captain in 2015-16.