The Saginaw Spirit made a big splash minutes before Friday’s OHL trade deadline, acquiring centre Ryan Suzuki from the Barrie Colts.
In all, 10 pieces were swapped in the trade. The Spirit acquired Suzuki, the rights to forwards Ryan Beck and Peter Fleming, as well as a 2020 fifth-round pick while Barrie received forward Ethan Cardwell, defenceman Connor Punnett, a second-round pick in 2021, two third-round picks and a 2024 fifth-round pick. Barrie could also acquire a conditional second-round pick in 2024 and a conditional third-round pick in 2022.
Suzuki, 18, was a first-round pick by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2019 NHL Draft and was the top pick in the 2017 OHL Draft. An eye injury has limited him to only 21 games this season, but he has five goals and 23 points. Last season, he had 25 goals and 75 points in 65 games.
“We are thrilled to add an elite player and person in Ryan Suzuki to our lineup today,” said Spirit general manager Dave Drinkill. “Suzuki is a player we have watched grow immensely over the last two seasons. His vision and puck skills are up there with some of the best players in the league. We believe Ryan will make a substantial contribution to our club during the stretch run as we defend our West Division title.”
The Spirit enter play Friday two points behind the Windsor Spitfires for second in the Western Conference. The Colts meanwhile have 35 points, which puts them in sixth in the Eastern Conference.
Cardwell, 17, has 12 goals and 21 points in 37 games this season in his first-full OHL campaign.
Punnett, Beck and Fleming have not played in the OHL this season.