IceDogs wheel and deal; Schedule still unclear due to provincial lockdowns
The IceDogs acquired forward Brenden Sirizzotti from the Ottawa 67s in exchange for a 2023 second-round pick Monday. Photo by: OHL IMAGES.
The COVID pandemic may have put in question the future of the 2021-22 Ontario Hockey League season, but that didn’t prevent Niagara IceDogs general manager Joey Burke from completing a pair of trades Monday.
The IceDogs acquired forward Brenden Sirizzotti from the Ottawa 67s in exchange for a 2023 second-round pick, which originally belonged to the Guelph Storm.
As well, the IceDogs dealt captain Cam Butler to the Oshawa Generals for a second-round pick in 2025 and an 11th round selection in 2024.
Sirizzotti, 18, was drafted in the second round by Ottawa in 2019. He has eight goals and 12 assists so far this season. Before joining the 67s, Sirizzotti played 41 games with the Pickering Panthers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League where he picked up 57 points.
“Sirizzotti is a guy we have wanted for a long time,” Burke said. “We’ve been in Ottawa’s ear for years asking them if you’re ever going to move him please call us first.
“He was an unbelievably highly touted player in his draft year.”
Burke feels Sirizzotti will be a solid addition to the club’s impressive group of young forwards.
“He’s a guy who fits our playing style perfectly,” Burke said. “His skill level is absolutely elite. His vision is second to none, plays at a very quick pace, really does everything well.”
Butler, 19, had six goals and 22 points in 24 games for Niagara the season.
“It’s always difficult to move a guy like Butler, but at the end of the day, it just wasn’t working here,” Burke said. “While we love him here, we felt Sirizzotti becomes a better fit for us, not only right now, but moving forward.
“By bringing Brendan in, it gave us a little bit of a log jam on the right side so we were able to clean things up a bit, get a year younger, and not use any of our picks or younger bodies.”
The moves came in the aftermath of another lockdown announced by the Ontario provincial government Monday. The Ontario Hockey League was not mentioned specifically in the announcement.
The IceDogs, who have had their last five games postponed due to COVID-19 protocols affecting the team, haven’t played since Dec. 16 in North Bay. They are slated to host Oshawa Thursday at Meridian Centre, play at Hamilton Friday, and host Sudbury Saturday.
“We’re still trying to make some sense of it as well from our end,” Burke said. “The underlying point we seem to have got is that we’re continuing. How it’s going to look, how capacities are going to look, we’re all working towards it.
“I know the league is working very hard on exactly what the teams have to do. Ideally, in the next day or two, we should get some clarity.”
Ice cubes: The IceDogs have singed goaltender Bo Piroski. The 17-year-old Amherstburg native has a 2.34 goals-against average and .936 save percentage with the Leamington Flyers of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League this season. Piroski, who was selected in the first round (20th overall) by the Niagara IceDogs in the 2021 OHL U18 draft, is expected to remain with the Flyers and be called up when needed.
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