The former 67’s Moldenhauer pick heads south, prompting the organization to trade him for picks


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The Ottawa 67’s opted for a tomorrow’s solution to today’s problem, abandoning former first-round draft pick Nicholas Moldenhauer.

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After it became clear that Moldenhauer had altered his plans in order to expand into the United States, the 67’s ceded their OHL rights to the Sarnia Sting.

At this point the only thing coming back from Sarnia is a 15e round selection in the 2022 OHL Priority Draft draft.

The 67’s will, however, receive an additional compensatory choice at the end of the league’s first round in 2022 under its “defaulting player” rule.

Mississauga native Moldenhauer has scored 45 goals and 77 assists in 63 games for the Toronto AAA Titans in 2019-20, prompting the 67’s to choose him in the first round of the 2020 Draft.

“When we drafted him we were really optimistic he would play in Ottawa,” 67’s general manager James Boyd said Thursday.

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But that was before COVID-19 and the varying levels of hockey restrictions in Canada and the United States went into effect.

While the entire 2020-21 OHL season and most minor hockey north of the border has been wiped out, minor hockey has not stopped in many parts of the United States.

Moldenhauer found a home playing for the North Jersey Under-16 Avalanche program, which won a national title, as well as for the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League.

He is returning to Chicago for the 2021-22 season, with the intention of joining an NCAA schedule for 2022-23.

Boyd watched Moldenhauer play online last season, with fans in the seats.

“It was almost like another world and a positive experience for him, where he played 70s and something games and he changed his focus,” he said. “He’s a quality player and could be a good pick in the NHL Draft, but we never had the chance to bring him to Ottawa. It is not personal. It’s just what it is.

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Boyd acknowledges that “we might start to feel it start to pull away” in the spring and that the organization needed to consider what its options were.

Should Moldenhauer ever enter the OHL, the 67’s are vying to receive a colossal future package, including two second-round picks, three third-round, fourth-round and fifth-round picks over the next several years.

For now, however, Boyd is happy that the 67’s will have two first-round picks next summer and he’s optimistic about what he’s seen of the club’s other 2020 caps, as well as the top 2021 picks.

“We have seen some surprises, there is a certain depth in these age groups, but we want to put the players in the right places for their development.”

New 67’s coach Dave Cameron will work closely with Boyd to determine where the pieces of the puzzle fit together best.

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In 2017-18, the club did not rush Jack Quinn into the OHL, allowing him to play a leading role with the Kanata Lasers in the CCHL.

Quinn has become a star with the 67’s, scoring 52 goals and 37 assists in 62 games in 2019-20. He was drafted eighth overall by the Buffalo Sabers in the 2020 NHL Draft.

RUSSIAN PICK STICKS: The 67’s, who will play their second preseason game on Saturday night in Kingston, also announced Thursday that Vsevolod Gaidamak has committed to the team for the 2021-22 season.

Gaidamak, who has played for the Spartak St. Petersburg program the past two seasons, has been selected by the club in the 2020 import draft.

Austrian Vinzenz Rohrer, the club’s 2021 import selection, has also signed up to the 67’s for the season.

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Just for the challenge to OHL advertisers, I hope Vinzenz and Vsevolod will play on the same line together.

DUHAMEL IN THE DESERT: Mario Duhamel is back at work as an assistant coach with André Tourigny, this time with the Arizona Coyotes in the NHL. Duhamel has been assistant with the 67’s under Tourigny since 2017-18.

ANDREE FINDS A HOME: Former 67’s goaltender Cedrick Andree has signed a pro contract with the South Carolina Stingrays from ECHL. Andree was 67-21-4 with eight shutouts, a 2.71 goals-against average and .906 save percentage during his time with the 67’s. He also appeared in two games with the AHL Belleville Senators last season.

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Twitter.com/Citizenkwarren

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