After the signing yesterday of Anthony Costantini, the Ottawa 67’s have NINE potential defenders they could bring back for next season. That’s not even including Hudson Wilson, an Ottawa veteran who also is going into his over-age season. As players need playing time at this point in their career, a trade seems like the only possible option, but who and when?
2018 draft selection Anthony Costantini has committed to the #67s.
— Ottawa 67's (@Ottawa67sHockey) June 5, 2019
What do the 67’s need:
The 67’s have big holes to fill up front with the departure of three overage forwards and Sasha Chmlevski seemingly going to be in the San Jose Sharks system next season. The 67’s could also benefit from regaining some more draft picks as they gave up multiple in the trades for Mike Dipietro, Lucas Chiodo, and Kyle Maksimovich. Although the 67’s are not sparse on draft picks, more picks help teams stay successful for years to come and create sustainable rosters.
Who are the new defenders?
Constantini joins Ottawa native Jack Matier, Giuseppe Marino, and Teddy Sawyer, as rookies heading into Ottawa’s camp this summer who have all received contracts from the team. Jack Matier was the 67’s first-round pick and seemed unlikely he would leave so early on. Marino is also a local player who played with the Nepean Raiders and also seemed unlikely after playing the last few years so close to the area as well. He also is a diverse player from most of the stay at home Ottawa defensemen and his small size may work to his benefit as an offensive-defensemen in the league. Sawyer, would also not make sense as a trade target as Ottawa was very excited to bring him in and will want to hang onto him for seasons to come due to his offensive prowess.
Although a rookie could be traded to gain some offensive depth, most likely a veteran of the OHL will want to be moved to a team that would offer him more ice time. With Kevin Bahl the only returning defenseman to get above 30 points, the 67’s could be looking to move one of their defensive defencemen to gain a more offensive minded forward. Nikita Okhotyuk also seems unlikely to move as he had a solid draft year and will be a significant veteran presence who could easily play top-four minutes.
Most likely, one of the depth players is going to be moved, as it gives them a chance to play out their potential and other teams the opportunity to get a player who played for a league-leading team. Lucas Peric, Alec Belanger, Merrick Rippon, and Hudson Wilson could all benefit from more ice time and are now veteran players in the league. All four of these players got below 20 points last season and will likely see limited playing time going into this season if they stay with the 67’s.
Fans should not be surprised to see a defender or two move-on for some forward depth and draft picks. Too much depth is one of the best problems to have, and this is an incredibly good sign for the upcoming season. Make sure you are subscribed to the OHL Network and follow @AidanBatt on twitter to find out about 67’s trades when they happen.