It is the season of movement in the Ontario Hockey League.
On Thursday afternoon, the London Knights traded 19-year-old defender Ben Roger to the Kingston Frontenacs in exchange for a third-round pick in 2022, a second-round pick in 2024 and a conditional third-round pick in 2025.
For a team like the Knights that is atop the league standings by four points over the next closest club, this would seem like an unexpected trade.
But when you examine the emergence of players on the London roster and add a key detail about the future, things quickly come back into focus.
“There’s a good chance we’ll get (Kirill) Steklov back shortly (from KHL’s Vityaz Podolsk),” says Knights associate general manager Rob Simpson. “His return allows the move.”
The London Knights increase their leadership in the overall OHL ranking
Steklov has played in KHL, MHL and VHL this year in what has been a somewhat turbulent season for him. It hasn’t been long in one place.
Steklov spent the 2019-20 season in London where he played in 50 games scoring two goals and adding seven assists.
The Estonian native who plays internationally for Russia had a plus-10 and was six feet four inches tall and nearly 200 pounds, has fantastic reach and great athleticism.
Note the rise of 17-year-old Isaiah George, who is over 12 on the season, who is second best among rookie defenders and the 18-year-old London, Ontario game. native Ethan MacKinnon, 19-year-old Carolina Hurricanes pick Bryce Montgomery, a guy like 19-year-old Gerard Keane who plays in all situations and the hard-hitting 18-year-old Connor Federkow and the big minutes on the blue line were becoming difficult to control. find.
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And that list doesn’t take into account 17-year-old Jackson Edward, who is out with a lower body injury but has made an impressive start to his important youth career, and 16-year-old Oliver Bonk, who wore very well on his OHL debut on November 16 against Sarnia Sting.
Roger adds excellent defense to a Kingston Frontenacs team that knows they only have phenom Shane Wright for the rest of this season. He also moves closer to his home in Brighton, Ontario.
Knights goalkeeper Brett Brochu returns to the net with the intention of being even better
Simpson notes that London’s draft picks were helpful in a couple of ways.
“Draft picks give us options,” Simpson explains. “We can save them for the draft or make use of them if we need to make a move.”
From October 21 to November 14, not a single exchange was made in OHL.
From November 15 to November 25, the teams combined to make seven different deals.
Two of them were made to soften up the extra surplus players on the Hamilton Bulldogs and the Owen Sound Attack when 20-year-old London, Ontario native Liam Van Loon switched from the Bulldogs to the Niagara Ice Dogs and the Attack spread for 20 years. old goalie Mack Guzda of the Barrie Colts.
A trade freeze will take effect during the vacation holidays that will begin at OHL after the games to be played on December 19.
The London Knights defeat the Greyhounds in a battle of the top two teams in the OHL ranking
The Knights will play their last game before the holidays on December 18 in Guelph, Ontario.
Following road games against Storm and Owen Sound Attack, London will return home on December 3 against Erie Otters and then host their 2021 Teddy Bear Toss on December 4 at 4pm against Sarnia Sting.
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