Hamilton Bulldogs Acquire Kade Landry

The Hamilton Bulldogs made a move on Monday night, sending over-age defenseman TJ Fergus and a fourth-round pick in 2018 to the Barrie Colts in exchange for 18-year-old defenseman Kade Landry. This continues the musical chairs the Bulldogs have been playing with their defensemen as they first traded Cole Candella, then acquired Fergus and have now sent the latter to Barrie for Landry.

More Offense from the Defense

Landry was drafted by the Colts in the seventh round of the 2015 OHL Priority Draft. Here is what the Bulldogs’ General Manager Steve Staios had to say about the new acquisition.

“We are thrilled to have Kade as a member of the Bulldogs organization… He is a mobile, puck-moving defenseman and we look forward to getting him into our lineup.”

In 17 games with Barrie this season, he has scored three goals and added eight assists for 11 points. That total ties him for fourth in scoring on the Bulldogs. He joins a defense core that has been putting up points in recent games and Landry should help that even more. He has four goals and 30 assists for 34 points in 79 career games with Barrie. For a Bulldogs team that had been struggling to produce consistent offensive production, Landry is a welcome edition.

Fergus was acquired by the Bulldogs just prior to the season from the Erie Otters for a third-round pick in 2018, a conditional fifth-round pick in 2020 and a conditional sixth-round pick in 2020. In 16 games this season, he has one goal and three assists but his offensive production should pick up now that he is joining a team with some dynamic offensive players such as top 2019 NHL prospect Andrei Svechnikov and the first-overall pick in the 2017 OHL Priority Draft, Ryan Suzuki.

Fergus has seven goals and 58 assists for 65 points in 185 OHL games with Hamilton and Erie combined. His second to last game with the Bulldogs was against his former team when he received his OHL Championship ring from the Otters. If he had been traded four days earlier, he would have had to wait until December 15, the next time the Colts face the Otters.

While he hasn’t exactly been the Bulldogs’ best defenseman, he does have the experience of being on last season’s OHL Champion Otters team and he played in the Memorial Cup. Colts General Manager Jason Ford said this about Fergus:

“We are very pleased to be adding a veteran presence on the back end. He brings experience and skill to solidify the defence and our powerplay moving forward.”

TJ Fergus Hamilton Bulldogs
TJ Fergus of the Hamilton Bulldogs. (Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

Swan Songs

This move helps the Bulldogs more than just on the ice. When the team first acquired Fergus, it gave them four over-agers with captain Justin Lemcke, Connor Walters and Stephen Templeton, all defensemen. Since OHL teams can only dress three over-agers in a game, one would have to be a healthy scratch. With Fergus off the roster, Lemcke, Walters and Templeton don’t have to worry about being scratched because of the rule.

All three defensemen are in their final OHL seasons, so the Bulldogs will have to replace half of their defense in the off-season. Landry gives them a player that can play with them for this season and the next two.

The Bulldogs’ next game is Wednesday morning in one of their two School Day games as they face off against the Peterborough Petes. Landry should be in the lineup to make his debut. The next time they face the Colts will be their second School Day game on February 8.

The Bulldogs are riding a four-game winning streak and this move should help improve the team and make a jump in the standings.