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ITO Hot-Stove: which recently traded OHL player will make the biggest impact on his new team?

During the holidays I decided to take a couple weeks off from the hot-stove, but with the holidays over and everyone going back to work and to school, I decided to jump back on the horse and start producing hot-stoves again. Anyways, this is the fifth edition of ITO Hot-Stove since I've joined. Joining me today in this piece is Dwayne Williams, Brandon Sudeyko, Thayne Hallyburton and Phil Phillips.

Without further ado I'd like to introduce you all to this week's debate question: which recently traded OHL player will make the biggest impact on his new team?

Todd Cordell

Ryan Spooner

With Nail Yakupov out for approximately a month, and several other top players on the Sarnia Sting out with injuries Ryan Spooner will need to step up, and in my opinion he will.

I think Spooner will hold the Sting in the top four of the Western Conference until some key players return from injury, and go on an absolute offensive tear when some of the top guys return and he gets some help.

All in all I think he'll play a key role in righting the ship for the Sting until they can get some bodies back and play a big part in whatever playoff success the Sting have. Some other players who were moved will have big impacts as well, no doubt, but none as big as Spooner will have in Sarnia. Thus, in my opinion, making him the player that will have the biggest impact on his new team.

Dwayne Williams

John McFarland

I thought that Spooner would have the biggest impact on his team - and has 3 goals and 1 assist in 3 games team - but the Sting have been hit with the injury bug to go along with their aggressive trading activities. They are only 1 win  and 2 losses so far with him in the lineup. (Yakupov long term and Hottot took a shot in the leg today - left and didn't return)
My vote: Seems like John MacFarland has put an extra jump into the step of the 67's (like they needed an extra push to get going). He has played 2 games for them - kept off the scoresheet in the first game, and then 1 goal and 1 assist in the 4-0 thumping delivered to the Majors. Offensively I think that Ottawa and Niagara are now the elite teams that the rest of the East will be looking up at for the second half.

Brandon Sudeyko

Jamie Oleksiak

Believe it or not I have to go with Jamie Oleksiak. Not necessarily based on his play, but based on the fact that he is the ‘big’ acquisition for the IceDogs and if they do not make the OHL Finals… this can be a huge disappointment. Then again a new opportunity in a city that will cheer his name may be what the Dallas Stars pick needs. Either way, I believe Jamie will have the biggest impact either negatively or positively… if Niagara can not do it this year… maybe they should have picked Brock Beukeboom’s former Soo Roommate instead of the Big O….

Thayne Hallyburton

Brett Ritchie
The Niagara Ice Dogs did not get the superstar that they wanted. Rumours floated around town that they were close to getting Gregg McKegg and that they were in on Ryan Spooner. What they ended up doing was getting Brett Ritchie in one of the deals that they completed this past week when fellow-contender Sarnia Sting, decided they wanted JP Anderson and needed the right draft picks to acquire him. Marty Williamson mad a very smart move here in acquiring the big forward.
Ritchie will step right onto the second line in Niagara and bring size and grit to a lineup that might only lack that, making their top 6 extremely scary. Ritchie will be the big body in front of the net on the PP, making what is already the scariest PP in the league even more scary and will provide the secondary scoring that a championship caliber team needs. This move is more of a tinkering move than a huge acquisition and history teaches us that they are usually the most productive of moves. Brett Ritchie will be one of the main story lines if the Niagara Ice Dogs make the trek East in late may for the Memorial Cup.

Phil Phillips

Ryan Spooner

I think the trading of Ryan Spooner to the Sarnia Sting from the Kingston Frontances for Ryan Kujawinski involves the player(s) that will have the biggest impact on their new teams both, short and long term.

The impact that Spooner will have on the Sting has been felt immediately (3GP 3G 1A).  With highly ranked Nail Yakupov joining, Sarnia's another promising young 2012 prospect Alexander Galchenyuk, on the IR. Spooner comes to a 1st place club, where attendance is up 15%, the Sting are hoping for a long playoff run.  Having never made it by the 2nd Rd since the franchise moved to Sarnia, the hope was that Spooner would give the Sting a nice depth scoring option, but now with Yakupov joining Galchenyuk on the IR, his role will increase.  Spooner a 2nd round pick of the Boston Bruins was an invite to Team Canada’s Selection Camp this past December but could not participate after being diagnosed with mononucleosis. Ryan also is looking for more playoff succsesse, never making it by the 1st Rd in his OHL Career with both the Peterborough Petes & Kingston. Sting GM called Spooner "one of the elite players in all of junior hockey".  In order to acquire him they had to pay a very high price. That being said they feel that Spooner is another piece that will help them contend for an OHL Championship this season.”

That high price they paid was rookie centreman Ryan Kujawinski. The 6'2" 195lbs, 16 year old was Sarnia’s 1st Rd selection in the 2011 OHL Priority Selection, 4th overall, giving the Fronts a 1st rounder from 2011 draft after trading Max Domi to the Knights of London.

“This is part of the rebuilding process,” said General Manager Doug Gilmour. Kujawinski brings an imposing size, he's a good skater for his size and loves to shoot the puck, and in the words of Gilmour has "a ton of potential". Ryan recently competed for Team Ontario at the U17’s in two games with Kingston he has already matched his goal total he had with the Sting in 29 games.  In Kingston he will get more ice and be a big part of this team moving forward.

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