Colonials Retool / Trade Deadline Musings

The trade deadline has come and gone, let's check in on the Colonials and their month long retooling!
by Gary Graves | March 31, 2024, 9:04 PM ET

When the season began, there was hope and optimism right out of the gate as the team looked poised to make a charge at a playoff position but shortly after the season’s halfway mark the team just started slipping and slipping while other teams in the World Conference kept winning. As the team slid further out of a playoff spot, GM Graves and staff decided to make some changes toward the future vs band-aid fixes to fight for something that just may be unachievable in the current landscape. The team is getting better, just not ready for prime time just yet.

With that in mind, the team set in motion a plan to move upcoming UFAs and a few other pieces. The first trade that kickstarted this plan was rather unexpected and only because the Gladiators enquired about the status of Frank Vatrano followed by other teams. There was no plan to move Frank. 

However, the Colonials were able to pick up a number of solid assets for Franky V that made it impossible not to trade him. The deal saw Vatrano head to Hamilton for Christian Fischer, William Villeneuve, SEA 1st 2024 and WHI 1st 2025 which would ultimately be moved in a deal to pick up Ryan O’Reilly, but more on that deal later on.

The team would then go on to move Nick Leddy to Havana for a 3rd and 6th round pick, followed by Scott Wedgewood moving to Hamilton for a 2nd rounder. Then Ian Cole was sent to the Spartans for a 2nd and 5th rounder and then Martinook to the Gladiators for a 3rd and 5th round pick!

The trades didn't end there as the team deal veteran Brett Pesce to help the Millionares out while bringing back big minute eater defensman Nicolas Hague and OHL prospect Hunter Brzustewicz who has had a phenomenal offensive season in Kitchener with 92 points in 67 GP! The Colonials did flip back Justin Kipkie and some cash to Montreal. 

The also moved on from the oft contorversial Anthony DeAngelo by flipping him to the Grunge for a 2nd round pick!

The team did make a smaller deal the night of the Ottawa mini-summit where the Colonials dealt a 7th round pick for a WJC Zach Dean hockey card and $1 in cash! LOL, wasn’t the most talked about deal during the last month!

Fast forward to trade deadline day and a busy one it was for ye old town team! First off, the Colonials picked up Andreas Athanasiou for a 3rd round pick in 2024.

Then the team sent Colin Blackwell to the Schooners for a 6th round pick, and the team finally had the conditional 2nd round pick added to the draft inventory after making a team many moons ago when we traded Freddy Anderson to NS.

The final deal of the day say the team acquire pending UFA Ryan O’Reilly and a 4th rounder from Acadia for the aforementioned WHI 1st round pick plus scoring winger Daniel Sprong and prospect Jeremy Hanzel.

ROR and Tim Stutzle will make a formidable 1-2 punch at centre next year!

So to recap this past month or so, the team added Ryan O’Reilly, Nicolas Hague, Hunter Brzustewicz, Christian Fischer,  William Villeneuve and Andreas Athanasiou plus a 1 round pick in 2024, two 2nd round picks, two 3rd rounders, and more!

Departing were Colin Blackwell, Brett Pesce, Tony DeAngelo, Frank Vatrano, plus pending UFAs: Nick Leddy, Ian Cole, Scott Wedgewood and Jordan Martinook.

The team avoided having to send out any of the future core prospects in Peterka, Evangelista, Schneider, Dvorsky, Eklund, Gritsyuk, Dean, Bonk or the newly acquired Brzustewicz!

Projected lines next year:

Svech – Stutzle – Peterka

Niederreiter – O’Reilly – Evangelista

Eklund – Donato – Mantha

Fischer – Hayton/Lizotte – Janmark

 

Jensen – Middleton

Schneider – Hague

Stecher – Spence

Lindstrom

 

Hill - Kochetkov - Quick 

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