Barrie Colts Rebuild At Deadline

Now that the OHL trade deadline has come and gone, the Barrie Colts’ plan moving forward is clear. It is time to rebuild for the future.

Unlike many OHL organizations, Barrie doesn’t have a history of building assets for future seasons. Generally, management focuses on the roster’s current needs that season. It appeared that this was the plan this season when they sent captain Justin Murray to the Saginaw Spirit a month ago. And leading up to the deadline, they continued obtaining picks.

Related – Barrie Colts Through 30: Murray Trade, Goaltending & More

The organization has won just one championship in its 23 completed seasons. With eight division titles in that time, the thought in Barrie is that the team is generally more worried about making the playoffs on an annual basis instead of acquiring pieces to improve for future seasons. This season, that mentality seems to have changed.

Trading New York Rangers Prospect Joey Keane

One of the bigger transactions the team made prior the deadline was when they sent New York Rangers prospect Joey Keane to the London Knights. In return, Barrie obtained 2001 born Dalton Durhart. The Colts also brought in a 2020 second-round draft pick as well as conditional picks including a third-round pick in 2023 and a second-round pick in 2024. The conditions on the additional picks are that if Keane plays with London as an over-ager, Barrie gets the two extra draft picks.

Joey Keane Barrie Colts
Joey Keane of the Barrie Colts (Terry Wilson / OHL Images)

This transaction was mostly an attempt to bring in some draft picks, however, Duhart is a nice addition to the Colts. He has fit in nicely so far and is a hard player to play against. His willingness to battle for pucks in the corners has already stood out. He is also proving to be strong at faceoffs, an area the team has needed to improve in. As he gets used to the team’s system, he should develop nicely. He is also eligible for the upcoming 2019 NHL Entry Draft.

Related – 2019 NHL Draft: Fisher’s Top 186 for December

Jaden Peca to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

Next, the Colts sent Jaden Peca to the Greyhounds for a sixth-round pick in 2020. Peca played 155 games with the Colts since they drafted him in the sixth round of the 2015 OHL Draft. Over that time, he tallied 23 goals and 47 assists.

Jaden Peca Barrie Colts
Jaden Peca of the Barrie Colts. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Since joining the Greyhounds, he has posted a goal and four assists in five games. An area that makes him such a strong addition is his ability to play any role. The Greyhounds have already noticed that, with him having earned time on the team’s top line with Morgan Frost. While a sixth-round pick might not sound like an overwhelming return for the Colts, it is pretty standard for this type of player in the OHL. This is a deal that will work out well for both sides, as it is already proving to be for the Soo.

Another Trade With London

Not long after the Peca deal was announced, the Colts completed another move. This time, they sent a conditional 15th-round pick to London for overage defenceman Matthew Timms. This deal was likely a continuation of the Keane trade made earlier. The condition on the 15th-round pick is that if Timms plays with Barrie, the selection is upgraded to a sixth round pick. It doesn’t appear that there was any plan of him reporting to the Colts. Since the trade, it has come out the Timms will join the Guelph Gryphons in USports.

Emotional Deal With the Ottawa 67’s

The Colts wrapped up their transactions before the deadline with an emotional trade which saw Lucas Chiodo moved to the Ottawa 67’s. Chiodo, in his final OHL season, had spent his entire career with the Colts. He was selected by Barrie in the final round of the 2014 OHL Draft. In return, Barrie got a third-round pick in 2021 and a second-round pick in 2024. They also obtained the rights to Shaw Boomhawer who currently plays for the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL. There is no word on whether or not he will report to the Colts, though the team is optimistic they can obtain him.

Lucas Chiodo Barrie Colts
Lucas Chiodo of the Barrie Colts. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Chiodo moving on from Colts was hard on fans. It is not very often you see someone who was drafted so late go on to not only play in the league but also become a top point producer. He had been leading the team in scoring this season with 19 goals and 31 assists. In total, he played 227 games and put up 72 goals and 120 assists. He was loved by teammates and fans. While it is hard to see a player like him go, you have to feel good about him playing with a team that is a serious contender to not only win the J. Ross Robertson Cup but could also push for a Memorial Cup.

Are These Good Moves?

You can never really tell if these deals will immediately work out but, overall, the team did well. Barrie brought in picks they were lacking because of trades in previous years. While it cost a top player, it is a situation where you need to consider that after this season, Chiodo would have moved on. The team was able to get some much-needed draft picks while putting him in a better spot at the same time.

Keane was also a big piece to move but that is the only way you can get early draft picks. Barrie wasn’t built to make a push this season, but they now have the tools to try to put together a stronger team over the next couple of seasons. Had they kept these players, they would have had little to work with in the next couple of drafts. While the remainder of this season could be a rough ride for Colts fans, they should be excited about the next couple of seasons.