Sarnia Sting Trade Big in Push for Playoffs

A little after 10 PM EST on January 6, a Sarnia Sting trade was announced which would send Travis Konecny (Philadelphia 2015 1st round pick) and Sam Studnicka from the Ottawa 67’s to the Sting.

Studnicka, an overage center currently in his fourth OHL season, brings a solid two-way game and lots of energy to the game along with offensive depth and veteran leadership. Konecny, the standout forward for Team Canada at the recent World Juniors, brings a significant offensive game, leadership, physicality, and that “it” factor. Konecny’s engine never stops running, and this move not only significantly improves Sarnia’s top-six, but also moves them into “contender” territory.
Assets coming back from the Sarnia Sting trade to the 67’s are two forwards and a boatload of picks. All in all, here’s how the final trade lays out (barring a few conditional picks):

To Sarnia:

-Travis Konecny
-Sam Studnicka
-3rd Round Pick (2016)

To Ottawa:
-Sasha Chmelevski
-Chase Campbell
-2nd Round Pick (Owen Sound, 2016)
-2nd Round Pick (Sault Ste. Marie, 2017)
-2nd Round Pick (2019)
-2nd Round Pick (Conditional, 2021)
-2nd Round Pick (Conditional, 2022)
-3rd Round Pick (Windsor, 2017)
-3rd Round Pick (2019)
-3rd Round Pick (2020)
-5th Round Pick (Saginaw, 2017)
-5th Round Pick (Oshawa, 2019)

The conditions of the conditional picks are whether or not Konecny returns to the Sarnia for the next OHL season. As for Ottawa, it is clear what their plans are for asset management as the trade deadline approaches. There are still assets which could be moved, like Dante Salituro, Jeremiah Addison, overage defender Jacob Middleton or even overage center Nathan Todd. We will see how the 67’s proceed. They might be trying to add another ’99 born forward to build around.

Ottawa already has an impressive young group of players for the future including Hudson Wilson (D), Noel Hoefenmayer (D), Austen Keating (C), and now Sasha Chmelevski (C). Chmelevski was selected 10th overall in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection Draft by the Sting. In his first year in the OHL, Chmelevski scored 17 points (9G, 8A) in 29 games despite being a bottom-six forward and limited powerplay ice-time. He is a very intriguing and promising young prospect who is eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft.

As for Sarnia, the recent moves to bring in forwards Matt Mistele and Travis Konecny have shored up their top-six. The only question remains as to what further moves will the Sting make, and whether or not they have the assets to make another big acquisition, particularly on defense. Supposedly they are going to be parting with overage forward Davis Brown, which opens up another Overager spot, which could be filled by a defenseman. Either way, the Sting will be looking to add another defenseman to the mix but the trade deadline. As for goaltending, the Sting are relying on young, 2016 draft-eligible goaltender Justin Fazio between the pipes. Currently, Fazio is fifth overall in the OHL for total goals allowed with 2.54 and is tenth in total save percentage with a 0.904%. He is a promising young goaltender, but it will be interesting to see whether or not the Sting want to bring in a veteran goaltender to help supplement Fazio.

The Sting have lost three of the last five games, and are currently eight points behind the Windsor Spitfires (with three games in hand) for first place in the West Division. With the new influx of Konecny and Studnicka and the return of a hopefully fully-healed Pavel Zacha from the World Juniors combined with a competitive core of Jakob Chychrun, Matt Mistele, Jordan Kyrou (who has 3 goals and 7 assists during a 6-game point streak) and Nikita Korostelev, the Sarnia Sting are looking to make a major push for a deep playoff run this year.

Main Photo.