Knights Load Up for a Run to the Memorial Cup

With all the regular players back in the fold with the London Knights after the WJC. The management of the Knights wasted no time at the OHL trade deadline in securing the top 2 players available and really not giving much up to get them. The Knights made 3 deals at the Deadline and only sent 2 regular players the other way, Chris Martenet and rookie Ian Blacker.

London first acquired top rated defenceman Mitchell Vande Sompel from the Oshawa Generals in return for Ian Blacker and 3 draft picks and a conditional pick. The picks are as follows; 2 second round picks in 2017 and 2019(Sudbury) and a third round pick in 2018. The conditional pick is a third round pick in 2024.

The Knights then acquired forward Dante Salituro from the Ottawa 67’s and an eighth round pick in 2021. In return London sent defenceman Chris Martenet and 3 more draft picks; second round pick in 2021, third round pick in 2018 and a fifteenth round pick in 2021. Salituro was currently splitting time between the AHL and the ECHL.

The third and final deal was the biggest of the day by London as they acquired 2 time WJC player and Tampa Bay second round pick Mitchell Stephens. Stephens was the captain of the Saginaw Spirit. London gave up 6 draft picks and a conditional pick. Very little in my opinion to acquire one of the top forwards in the OHL. The picks are as follows; 2 second round picks in 2018(Ottawa, Kingston), second round pick in 2019(Owen Sound), second round pick in 2020(Sudbury), third round pick in 2017, third round pick in 2019 and a conditional third round selection in 2021.
This puts London in a position to challenge Windsor for the West Division Title and a legitimate shot at a Memorial Cup birth. Nothing would be sweeter than capturing their third Memorial Cup on Windsor soil.

With the Knights stumbling over the last three games without Tyler Parsons in the net it must have been a wakeup call for the Knights management that they needed to improve their team. As they were handled easily by the Spitfires and Steelheads and London barely escaped with an overtime victory over the Sudbury Wolves.

Friday the 13th the London Knights saw the return of Max Jones to the lineup and the players that were traded for all dressed for what in the long run was an easy 5-1 victory over the Saginaw Spirit. It was a costly one as the Knights lost newly acquired defenceman Mitchell Vande Sompel to an apparent ankle injury as well as Montreal Canadiens draft pick defenceman Victor Mete after he took a puck to the ear area and did not return after suffering the injury. It is not known how long either player will be out of the lineup. This is one of those tough weekends in the OHL as the Knights will play 3 games in less than 72 hours. But after the blockbuster trades that were made, it may be a good thing as the team needs time to bond and learn to play together with their new teammates. London heads out to Saginaw for a game Saturday evening and then a long bus ride to the Soo to take on the division leading Greyhounds.

AS ALWAYS SEE YOU AT THE GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mike Ries
A little about myself , first and foremost I'm a hockey fan,  I have been involved with hockey in one form or another since I was a little kid.  I remember going to the old London Gardens watching the London Knights ,  I was a fan from that moment and have followed them ever since . This is the second year that I will be reporting on the Knights and I am looking forward to a long playoff run with this version of the Green and Gold. I am the owner of "FIVE FOR FIGHTING AUTHENTICS" specializing in game worn jerseys and collectibles.  Visit my EBAY store Five for Fighting Authentics or follow my user name Coltmccoy12.   I look forward to your comments and suggestions throughout the year. As always, SEE YOU AT THE GAME