Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers, General Manager, Jeff Leblanc, was a busy man during this year’s trade deadline. Amherst is currently sitting with a 14-4-3 record good for second in the Eastlink South Division.
In an interview today LeBlanc explained the trades as they happened starting with the first one on February, 17th.
“With the long-term injuries to Poirier, Richard, Smith, and Ellis all upfront it put us in a bad spot with numbers. We played our last three games with nine natural forwards and nine natural defencemen. I’ve never seen that before this year. No-fault of anyone, just bad luck it happened at one position. In saying that, we felt we needed to get back to the numbers that make sense which are 7-8 D and 12-14 Forwards. After the dust settles today that’s where we will be and I’m happy about that.” Leblanc said
In the first trade, Amherst sent futures to Alberni Valley Bulldogs of the BCHL for University of Maine commit Tim Gould. The Riverview native is a left-handed shot defenceman that had 34 points in 58 games last season with the Bulldogs. “Tim was drafted way back in 2017 because of John Davidson. John did his homework on Tim, a player at the time that was playing prep school away. John brought him to our attention and we picked him.” Leblanc said
Tim who played two seasons in the SJHL with the Notre Dame Hounds before going to the BCHL won first-team all-star in his rookie year. “Tim will add some offense from the back end. He’s steady with a very high ceiling. We are happy Tim’s going to finish his junior career in Amherst before he moves on to Division 1 NCAA.”
Last night following the game, Amherst traded futures to Summerside for forward Jake Kyle. “Jake we know well as he was in our training camp two years ago in Amherst. Jake brings more depth, youth, and compete to our lineup.” Leblanc added. Last season Kyle served as captain for the Saint John Vitos Major Midget team.
Today, Amherst traded forward Liam Smith to the Fredericton Red Wings for a 4th round pick in the 2021 draft. “In order to sign another 20 year old we had to move one. These trades are the unfortunate part of junior hockey. Liam’s a good player and good person but with his broken hand, we couldn’t take the chance of him not coming back. We wish him nothing but the best in Fredericton and we hope his injury heals quickly.”
In the fourth deal of the day, Amherst traded futures to the Granby Inouk of the Quebec JrAAA League for forward Samuel Michaud. In 44 games last season as an 18-year-old, Samuel had 33 points. “Samuel is a two-way forward that can play up and down the lineup. Watching Samuels’s games he reminded me a lot of Nick Snow who we had here during the Fred Page Cup. Samuel has good size and good hockey sense. He’s excited to get started.”
Making their fifth deal of the day, Amherst traded futures to West Kelowna Warriors of the BCHL for University of Maine D1 commit, forward, Felix Trudeau. In one of the most prestigious prep schools in the US, Northwood Prep, Trudeau finished the season with 37 goals, and 79points in 68 games. “Felix is a highly touted, skilled forward that can put the puck in the net. He’s got a good shot and competes. Since the trade was announced this morning I’ve had NHL scouts calling me asking when he’ll be playing after quarantine. Something you don’t experience very often in this league. Excited to see him play live.”
In the final trade of the day, Amherst sent defencemen Matthew Helpard to the South Shore Lumberjacks for an 8th round pick in 2022. “Like I said earlier when talking about Smith, these are the unfortunate parts of junior hockey. This year we added Yuill, Marko, and now Gould on the back end. Adding those players unfortunately pushed a good defense down the depth chart to a place where he doesn’t deserve and in any other year wouldn’t happen. That coupled with our commitment to developing our two younger defensemen for the future we needed to move someone. Matthew has been unreal on and off the ice for our team. A great young man that will do great things.” Leblanc said
Amherst is back in action tonight as they travel to South Shore.