IceDogs trade Thomas to Petes
The Niagara IceDogs completed their second blockbuster trade of the day Thursday, dealing captain Akil Thomas to the Peterborough Petes.
In exchange for Thomas, the IceDogs received 17-year-old forward Cameron Butler, and the following picks in the Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection: second-round selection, 2020 (Mississauga); second-round selection, 2022 (Peterborough); third-round selection, 2022 (Niagara); and, a fourth-round selection, 2024 (Peterborough).
The IceDogs earlier Thursday dealt Philip Tomasino to the Oshawa Generals for a whopping nine draft picks.
“This is easily the hardest trade I have ever made,” IceDogs general manager Joey Burke said in a press release. “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 (Los Angeles) next year. We needed to add an exciting young player, and we get that in Cam Butler.”
Butler, a native of Ottawa, is in his second OHL season. In the 2018-19 season, he played 64 games, totally 26 points (18 goals, 8 assists) and this season has 12 goals and 19 points in 39 games.
He was ranked on NHL Central Scouting’s Preliminary “Players to Watch” list, ahead of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. He has been described as having a big body, who can skate, and has a great shot. He can use his size to his advantage, along with good speed.
“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.”
Thomas, a former first-round pick, 12th overall, in the 2016 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection, made his debut as an IceDog in the 2016-17 season. In his first year, he set a franchise record for most points scored by a rookie (48 points). At the start of the 2017-18 season, he was named an alternate captain, and was given the captain’s C in August 2019. In his third season, Thomas was one of three IceDogs players, and the youngest, to surpass the 100-point mark. He finished the 2018-19 season with 102 points (38G, 64A) in 63 games. In 219 regular season games as an IceDogs forward, Thomas scored 96 goals and had 179 assists, totalling 275 points.
He leaves Niagara as one of the franchise’s most successful players ever. His 275 points is third all-time, and his 96 goals is fourth all-time.
“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 Peterborough make a long playoff run this year,” Burke added.
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