The OHL trade deadline is today for any deal involving over-aged players, while tomorrow is the deadline for any other deals. That means plenty of player movement has happened over the last few days and the Guelph Storm were at it again this morning. The team officially announced that they have acquired Nick Suzuki, Sean Durzi and Zachary Roberts from the Owen Sound Attack in exchange for a package including three players and four picks. Guelph is obviously working to load up before an OHL playoff run that will determine a Memorial Cup berth.
Suzuki, the prize of the deal, is a Montreal Canadiens prospect after he was included in an NHL trade prior to the season. The key piece coming back to Montreal in exchange for Max Pacioretty, he’s projected to slot into their forward group before long. This year though Suzuki is back in junior dominating in the offensive zone again, recording 45 points through his first 30 games. That run with the Attack was broken by a stint with the Canadian World Junior Team, where Suzuki ran one of the team’s powerplay units and recorded three assists in five games.
Durzi too is a huge addition for the Storm, coming off a Second All-Star selection in 2017-18. The cerebral defender was finally picked in the second round by the Toronto Maple Leafs in his second year of draft eligibility, and was sent back to junior for an over-age season. Unfortunately he has missed a good chunk of that season with an upper-body injury, but should play a big role for Guelph down the stretch.
Interestingly, this load up by Guelph comes less than a month after trading away San Jose Sharks first-round pick Ryan Merkley for a package of picks. Merkley had been dominating offensively like usual for the Storm, but was sent to the Peterborough Petes who are also fighting for a spot in the OHL playoffs.