If you’re a fan of junior hockey, some of the trades made in the OHL the past few seasons have drawn laughter and confusion upon announcement. In order to load up on present day talent, various teams had begun trading draft picks that wouldn’t be used for six, seven or eight years into the future. A January trade involving Los Angeles Kings top prospect Gabe Vilardi for instance from the Windsor Spitfires included a Kingston Frontenac second-round pick from 2025. The OHL has had enough of these transactions, and today announced new trade restrictions that will come into effect on September 1st:
Commencing September 1, 2018, OHL teams will be allowed to trade draft choices a maximum of six years into the future, transitioning to five years prior to the commencement of the 2020 OHL Priority Selection, and four years prior to the 2021 OHL Priority Selection.
At the conclusion of the phase-in period, league policy will stipulate that OHL clubs may only trade a draft choice four years into the future.
Though the stiffest restrictions will not come into play for another few years, this will begin to reduce the number of transactions teams can make by mortgaging their future for today’s success. The entire CHL has an issue with teams cycling through short periods of intense contention followed by firesales that make them barely competitive, usually aligning with hosting the Memorial Cup. Some more financially stable teams can stay competitive on an annual basis through other means, but this hopefully will bring more parity to the league by avoiding cycles like this.