It’s been a busy week for Akil Thomas.
Just days after scoring the gold medal-winning goal for Canada at the world juniors against Russia, Thomas has been traded by the Niagara IceDogs to the Peterborough Petes.
In exchange for Thomas, the IceDogs have acquired 17-year-old forward Cameron Butler and four draft picks – two second-round picks (2020, 2022), one third-round pick (2022) and a fourth-round pick (2024).
The trade is Niagara’s second of the day – the IceDogs also dealt forward Phil Tomasino to Oshawa – and brings the team’s total haul to Butler, defenceman David Guicciardi and 13 draft picks in exchange for Tomasino and Thomas.
Thomas has spent his entire four-year OHL career with the IceDogs, scoring 96 goals and racking up 275 points in 219 regular-season games. The Toronto native has appeared in 22 playoff games for Niagara, recording eight goals and 17 points. Thomas was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the second round (51st overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft.
“This is easily the hardest trade I have ever made,” IceDogs general manager Joey Burke said in a team statement. “Akil was the first player I ever drafted, and is my favourite IceDog of all time. There were a lot of tears shed this morning in Niagara. At the end of the day, we all know Akil will be in LA next year. We needed to add an exciting young player, and we get that in Cam Butler.”
Butler has played 103 games in two seasons for the Petes, scoring 12 goals and 19 points in 39 games for Peterborough in 2019-20.
“I have been a huge fan of Cam since his draft year and have always wanted him in Niagara,” Burke said. “Cam brings a complete package with size, skill, speed, grit, and at 17 already possesses one of the best shots in the league.”
“It’s a day of mixed emotions. While we are all very sad to see Akil go, we are extremely excited to be bringing Cam in with some nice draft picks to continue our rebuild. It’s a great fit for both players. I hope to see PBO make a long playoff run this year.”