With the Guelph Storm preparing for a lengthy playoff run, the team pulled off their biggest trade yet, acquiring three key players in a blockbuster deal with the Owen Sound Attack.
Forwards Nick Suzuki and Zachary Roberts and defenceman Sean Durzi were brought on board Wednesday by Storm general manager and head coach George Burnett.
Owen Sound is getting forwards Zachary Poirier and Barret Kirwin, defenceman Mark Woolley and four draft picks.
“We are excited to announce this transaction that adds three very significant pieces to our group,” Burnett said. “However all three of Zach, Barret and Mark represented the Storm very well on the ice and in the community.”
“This was a very difficult decision to make,” he added.
Suzuki is a 5’11” centre from London, Ont. and was a first-round-pick in the 2015 OHL draft.
The Montreal Canadiens draft pick had 22 goals and 23 assists through 40 games with the Attack this season.
The 19-year-old represented Canada at the 2019 World Junior Hockey Championships where he recorded three assists in five games.
“Nick is one of the premier players in the CHL and possesses elite offensive tools,” Burnett said. “His world-class, game-breaking skill is a very exciting thing to add to our lineup.”
Roberts is 6′ and weighs 178 lbs. The Stouffville native posted six goals through 24 games with Owen Sound this season.
The 19-year-old was drafted by the Attack in the fifth round of the 2015 OHL draft.
“Zach is a very versatile player who can bring speed and tenacity to our lineup,” Burnett said. “He will play a much-needed role for us and can contribute at both ends of the ice.”
Durzi was drafted in the 12th round by the Attack in 2014 and was a selection of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2018 NHL entry draft.
“Sean is an outstanding defenceman that is able to make players around him better,” Burnett said. “We are excited to see his speed, skill and high-end effort level added to our blue line.”
Through 18 games this season, Durzi has posted three goals and 13 assists.
All three players are expected to be in the Storm’s lineup when they visit the Niagara Icedogs on Thursday.
The game can be heard live on 1460 CJOY starting 7 p.m.
Poirier, Kirwin and Woolley were not in Guelph’s lineup for Tuesday’s 7-5 win against the London Knights as the trade was in its final stages.
“It’s never easy to say goodbye to such outstanding young men, but we know they will each be successful with their opportunities,” Burnett said.
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