Steep prices

Is­lan­ders de­cide to stand pat on fi­nal day of trade pe­riod

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY JA­SON MAL­LOY

The Char­lot­te­town Is­lan­ders did not make a move on the fi­nal day of the Que­bec Ma­jor Ju­nior Hockey League trade pe­riod.

Gen­eral man­ager Grant Sonier said the team was in on a lot of things.

“We tried really hard to im­prove our hockey club,” he said. “The price was really high.”

How high? Try three firstround picks or two first-round picks and a really good young player for a top-end de­fence­man.

“Peo­ple like to wait to the last minute . . . and I wasn’t about to be backed into a cor­ner and over­pay.” Is­lan­ders GM Grant Sonier

And some of those types of play­ers may only have half a sea­son left in ju­nior hockey.

“At the end of the day the price was too high,” Sonier said. “We weren’t pre­pared to jeop­ar­dize the fu­ture.”

The Is­lan­ders have four 16year-olds and two 17-year-olds play­ing reg­u­larly.

It has first-, sec­ond- and thir­dround picks in June, a first and two sec­onds in 2017 and two firsts, a sec­ond, a third and a fourth in 2018.

The team ac­quired five play­ers dur­ing the trade pe­riod, adding ex­pe­ri­ence, size, grit and speed to the team.

Sonier said strik­ing early was part of his plan.

“Peo­ple like to wait to the last minute . . . and I wasn’t about to be backed into a cor­ner and over­pay.”

Since the trade pe­riod opened Dec. 19, the team re­ceived the re­turn of Daniel Sprong from the NHL and Kameron Kielly is get­ting closer to re­turn­ing to the lineup. Ma­son McDon­ald re­turned to prac­tice on Wed­nes­day and Filip Ch­lapik will be back on Sun­day.

“We’re a bet­ter of­fen­sive team, we’re a bet­ter de­fen­sive team,” Sonier said. “We need the play­ers to play up to their abil­ity and expectations and we’ll be fine.”

Sonier said the team’s goal is to take the next step and get deeper in the play­offs than it ever has, which would be the third round.

For­ward Oliver Cooper said it is nerve-rack­ing for play­ers in the days be­fore the dead­line. He is in his fi­nal ma­jor ju­nior sea­son.

“I want to have a chance to make a good run at it and I think we have the team that can be suc­cess­ful,” he said. “It’s go­ing to take some get­ting use to, we have a lot of new faces, but we’re ex­cited.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.