More to come?
Phones still ringing as Islanders contemplate further moves
The Charlottetown Islanders have traded for five players in the past couple of weeks and general manager Grant Sonier said Tuesday night he might not be done.
He has until 1 p.m. today to swing another deal before the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League deadline.
“We’re looking possibly to add another significant part on the back end and there’s some pretty intriguing top-end forwards still out there,” Sonier said.
“We’re remaining active. It’s just got to be the right kind of move.”
The Islanders have already added depth to its forward lines and a couple of experienced leftshot defencemen.
It all happened following the Dec. 19 news the Pittsburgh Penguins were sending 18-year-old right-winger Daniel Sprong back to junior.
“The addition of Daniel Sprong is the best trade I could make,” Sonier said. “His impact has obviously been dramatic since he’s been here.”
Sprong has six goals, including two game-winners, and two assists in five games with the Islanders. Charlottetown is 2-1-11 since his return.
The price to acquire players was high entering the trade period and has remained high, Sonier said.
“If we don’t do another move, I think we’ve added some really nice pieces,” he added.
It includes forwards Samuel Blais, Nicolas Leblond and Jake Coughler as well as defencemen Alexis Vanier and Guillaume Beaudry. They are all 19 years old, except for Vanier, who is 20.
“I really like Leblond,” Sonier said. “He’s going to bring a lot of skill and energy, kind of like Spenser Cobbold did for us last year.”
The back end needed to be addressed with the trade request of David Henley back to Val-d’Or to be with his sick father.
“Beaudry has been really, really good for us,” Sonier said. “He’s been outstanding.”
The Islanders will soon be getting goalie Mason McDonald and centre Filip Chlapik back from the world junior tournament and Sonier said Kameron Kielly is ahead of schedule is his rehab from an upper-body injury. The forward could return as early as the Jan. 15 to 17 weekend.
Dexter Weber was scratched from Tuesday’s game in Halifax due to an upper-body injury.
“If we don’t do another move, I think we’ve added some really nice pieces.”
Islanders GM Grant Sonier