Stallions make splash at CPJHL trade deadline, add Ledger, DeGray in separate transactions
By Essa Stallions Staff
In what was an eventful trade deadline day for Essa Stallions GM David Lang and head coach and director of hockey operations Sylvain Cloutier, the team was active, landing what they hope will be key pieces for a long playoff run and winning back-to-back Presidents Cup championships.
The first deal of the day saw the Stallions acquire forward Doug Ledger from the Seaforth Generals in exchange for three future considerations. Ledger, a 6-foot-2, 201-pound 1998-born center from Port Carling, Ont., will bring size, determination, and scoring touch to the Stallions.
Last season in 19 games for the now-defunct Bracebridge Pioneers, Ledger tallied 22 goals and 21 assists for 43 points.
"We felt we could use some depth and with the addition of Ledger, this provides that," said Cloutier. "He can play many of roles on a club, and we look forward to getting him into our lineup."
"Doug is going to bring his game and our team up a notch," added Lang. "Having played against him, we know what he is capable of. We see him being a driving force here in what we ask of him. Can do it all - PP, PK, 5 on 5. He's ready, and we're excited to have him."
As the deadline was quickly approaching, the Stallions then made what has to be considered the biggest deal of the day, landing Smiths Falls Settlers forward, team captain and recent McKendree University signee Reilly DeGray for forward-defenseman Malcolm Gamelin and defensemen Ben Baumgarner and Ryan Dick.
Degray, a 5-foot-11, 205-pound 1998-born center from Smith Falls, Ont., will bring the total package to Essa - scoring, leadership, physicality, defensive responsibility.
In 107 games played in the CPJHL for Smith Falls, DeGray has 70 goals and 62 assists for a total of 132 points and 209 penalty minutes.
"I've had the pleasure of coaching Reilly a couple of times now in All-Star tournaments," Cloutier said. "I know what he is capable of, and it's not hard to recognize that he is one of the best players in this league. He's a leader. He will bring that to this club, and hopefully, be that key piece that puts us over the edge."
"It's never easy pulling the trigger on these trades," Lang added. "Yes, it's a business, but at the end of the day, they are kids. Moving kids from comfort zones to new places is always hard, but it's part of the hockey world. We want to thank Malcolm, Ben and Ryan for their contributions to the club. We truly do wish them the best, and believe that getting them to Smith Falls will help them tremendously in their hockey development.
"With all that being said, we're very excited to add Reilly to our squad, and believe he will make an immediate impact."