OHL Roundup: Saginaw land Colts' Prout
By Mackenzie Liddell, Contributing Editor
Toronto, Canada (Sports Network) - The clock has struck midnight - or noon in this case - for GM's looking to make a splash at the 2011 Ontario Hockey League trade deadline.
And what a splash they made.
In what was one of the busiest and intriguing trade deadlines in recent memory, 12 trades went down on Monday with 16 players and a boatload of draft picks being swapped prior to the 12:00 p.m. cutoff.
That doesn't include the multiple trades made in the days and weeks leading up to Monday's deadline.
Before getting into the winners and losers, let's take a look at some of the big names that will be calling a new city home.
As mentioned last week, Barrie duo Taylor Carnevale and Dalton Prout were among the most coveted players on the market and the Colts were quick to cash in.
Barrie first shipped captain Prout to Saginaw for 6-foot-4 blueliner Alex Lepkowski, overage defenseman Matt Ashman and two third-round picks.
Prout will give the Spirit another big body on the back end who brings leadership, good offensive instincts and valuable big-game experience.
Landing Prout without giving up major assets makes this a steal of a deal for GM Todd Watson.
What Barrie failed to obtain in the Prout deal they made up for when they shipped Carnevale to Windsor.
Coming back from the Spits is rookie scoring sensation Eric Locke, who has 19 goals and 33 points as a 17-year-old, and goalie prospect Josh Malecki.
Although Carnevale will certainly boost Windsor's chances in the suddenly wide-open Western Conference, giving up a productive young player like Locke isn't an easy pill to swallow.
But it's anybody's game in the West and with Mississauga hosting the Memorial Cup, all Windsor has to do is make it to the OHL final to get a crack at its third-straight Canadian Hockey League championship.
Despite all the heat Windsor GM Warren Rychel will face, there will be more head scratching going on in Erie, as the Otters dealt hulking winger (6- foot-1, 225 pounds) David Broll and three draft picks for Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds' sniper Brett Thompson.
While Erie is smack in the middle of the pack in the West, they still have a long way to go to contend with Saginaw, Kitchener and Owen Sound and could easily find themselves on the outside of the playoff picture come March, as they are only four points ahead of eighth place Sarnia.
Landing Thompson should prevent them from bottoming out, but it seems like a steep price to pay for an outside shot at success.
It's hard to label definitive winners and losers, as it takes time to see the full effects of these deals, especially when throwing around draft picks that won't come to fruition for another five-to-10 years (London acquired a 2017 second round pick in a deal with Mississauga).
In terms of adding the most without subtracting vital elements, you have to look at Saginaw with the Prout acquisition.
But kudos to London Knights GM Mark Hunter who turned four players into 10 draft picks because, as witnessed leading up to the deadline, picks can be valuable currency when loading up for a championship run.
Now that the dust has cleared, not much has changed despite all the activity. The Majors are still top of the class in the East, with the hounding 67's avoiding the trade frenzy.
In the West, Saginaw certainly helped its own cause as did Windsor, but the power balance remains the same.
Either way, deadline day always provides for good discussion and this year didn't disappoint.
KITSYN PAYS IMMEDIATE DIVIDENDS FOR MAJORS
Maxim Kitsyn's past week has been an exhilarating and exhausting ride from Russia, to Buffalo, N.Y., where he helped the underdog Russians win gold, to Mississauga where he will suit up for the rest of the season.
Kitsyn, the Majors second pick in this year's import draft, finalized a transfer from Novokuznetsk Metallurg in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) early last week and it didn't take long for the skilled Russian to make his mark.
In his first two games with the Majors, Kitsyn scored three times and finished the week with five points while playing on a line with leading scorer Justin Shugg and Jordan Mayer.
He was a beast for the Russians in the Subway Series, leading all scorers with four goals and six points in six games. He didn't slow up at the world juniors either, finishing fifth in tournament scoring with five goals and nine points.
At 6-foot-2 and 183 pounds, Kitsyn matches his skill with size and is a menace around opposing nets.
Kitsyn is the newest member of the OHL's Russian resurgence, joining Nail Yakupov, Alexander Khokhlachev, Vladimir Namestnikov and Igor Bobkov as a scary group of skilled forwards - and a goalie - who have taken the league by storm this year.
CAN'T TAME TOFFOLI
It's hard to believe that Tyler Toffoli has nearly matched his total output from a season ago (37-42-79) in only 41 games.
What's even more impressive, outside of his league leading 38 goals and 75 points, is that he has done most of the damage during an ongoing 23-game point streak.
From Nov. 7 through Sunday's three-goal, four-point performance in a win over Owen Sound, Toffoli has an astounding 27 goals and 53 points in that span.
Although it's not as impressive as Brett MacLean's 32-game (78 points) streak in 2007-08 or Sergei Kostitsyn's remarkable 25-game, 71-point spell in 2006-07, it's by far the best this season and if Sunday's game is any indication, it doesn't look like he'll be slowing down any time soon.
The aforementioned Toffoli was named the OHL Player of the Week for the second time this season on the back of a four-goal, nine-point week.
01/11 15:10:58 ET