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Humphrey on Hockey – Windsor Spitfires Trade Break Down 2023

This story has been updated to include corrections.

Taking a longer look at the what the Windsor Spitfires did leading up to the Ontario Hockey League trade deadline on January 10. Here are the deals with the Spits deadline deals.

Before the trades, the Spitfires were among the best teams in the OHL and were also  one of the highest-scoring teams in the league. The deals will not adversely affect those realities of life and in fact, they almost certainly will improve for the remainder of the 2022-2023 OHL season and perhaps next season as well.

The Deal

To Windsor Spitfires: Jacob Holmes (d)

To Sudbury Wolves: fourth round pick in 2023, second round picks in 2024 and 2025, sixth round pick in 2025 and third round pick in 2026

The Deal with the Deal

Jacob Holmes, Sudbury’s team captain, was brought in to provide a veteran presence not only on but off the ice as well for the Spitfires. Now in his fourth season in the OHL, Holmes was the first round pick of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the 2019 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection and played a season and a half with the ‘Hounds before moving over to the Sudbury Wolves. The 6’2”, 200-lb. Does have a good size and while not flashy, he showed enough to be selected by the Dallas Stars in the fifth round of the 221 National Hockey League Entry Draft. He has yet to sign with the Bruins and should he return for an overage season with the Spitfires in 2023-2024 he would be a strong candidate to be team captain.

The Deal

To Windsor Spitfires: Brett Harrison (c/lw)

To Oshawa Generals: second round picks in 2023 and 2024, third round picks in 2025 and 2026, fifth round pick in 2026

The Deal with the Deal

Brett Harrison, one of the more sought-after players leading up to the January 10 OHL trade deadline, was brought in to add to the Spitfires’ already talented forward corps. Leading up to the deadline, the Spitfires were either at or near the top of the OHL in terms of team offense and Harrison is going to make Windsor an even more difficult team to defend against. Harrison’s versatility will be invaluable for the Spitfires as not only can play both left-wing and centre is not only a goalscorer but also a play-maker.

The Dorchester, Ontario native was selected in the third round of the 2021 NHL player lottery by the Bruins and has already signed with the team.While technically he would be eligible to return for an overage campaign next season, that would be highly unlikely. Should the Spitfires make an early exit from the OHL playoffs this spring, look for Harrison to make the jump immediately to the Providence Bruins, the American Hockey League team that is the top farm club of Boston. Should the Spitfires the OHL Finals for a second consecutive season and advance to the 2023 Memorial Cup in Kamloops, BC, the play of Harrison will no doubt be a big reason why. That would also delay his jump to the AHL until the fall of 2023.

The Deal

To Windsor Spitfires: Aidan Castle (lw) and Rodwin Dionicio (d)

To Niagara IceDogs: Branson Ride (d) and Christopher O’Flaherty (lw) sixth round pick in 2024 and second round pick in 2026

The Deal with the Deal

Castle was deal for in to provide secondary scoring for the Spitfires not only for this season but for next season as well.. The Mississauga native notched 43 points in his 63-game rookie season with the IceDogs. He, along with Rodwin, was acquired with the intention of him being in Windsor for at least this season and next, before a possible overage campaign in 2024-2025.

Like Harrison, Rodwin Dionicio was a trade target for the Spitfires as a result of his versatility as a two-way defenceman who can not only use his 6’2”, 205-lb. Body to provide a physical presence, but also to step up and join the offensive rush and provide more than an infrequent point from the blueline.

He was born in Newark, New Jersey but grew up in Switzerland and played for that country in the recently-concluded 2023 World Junior Hockey Championships. Dionicio scored an impressive 31 points in his 57-game rookie season on a bad Niagara team last season and like Castle, he will be with the Spitfires for at least one more season before a possible overage campaign.

The Deal

To Windsor Spitfires: Shane Wright (c) 14th round pick 2025 (conditional)

To Kingston Frontenacs: Ethan Miedema, Gavin McCarthy (prospect) second and third round picks in 2023, fourth and sixth round picks in 2024, fourth round pick in 2025 plus conditional picks fifth round in 2024 and sixth round in 2025

The Deal with the Deal

The final trade made by Bowler and the Spitfires came on the even of the January 10th  trade deadline and is one of the most significant in franchise history, both in terms of the price paid to acquire the player but also the ability and potential of the player to perhaps put the Spitfires over the hump in the chase for another OHL championship.

Wright was acquired primarily for his offensive abilities and he we be a catalyst for everyone who not only plays on his line (Maggio and Harrison) but also for every Spitfire who is on the ice at the same time as him. And Wright, the fourth overall pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft by the Seattle Kraken, has played nine games with the NHL team this season and another five with their AHL farm team before joining and captaining Team Canada at the recently-concluded 2023 world Junior Hockey Championships. The experience he brings to his Spitfire teammates wil lbe immeasurable and, by the way, there will likely be a significant financial benefit to bee realized by the team as he will no doubt boost ticket sales at the WFCU Centre both during the regular season but in the playoffs. There was over 6000 fans in the stands during Wright’s debut at the WFCU Centre on January 12, and that won’t be the last time there will be a big crowd in Windsor to watch him play.

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