The Mississauga Steelheads focus is clearly on the future as they head into the second half of this OHL season. They pulled off a couple of blockbuster moves, ahead of the OHL trade deadline on Jan. 10, sending NHL prospect forwards Owen Tippett and Ryan McLeod to the Saginaw Spirit in separate deals.
McLeod was the first to go on Jan. 3, with the Edmonton Oilers prospect going to Saginaw for defenceman Duncan Penman, a third-round pick in 2019 (originally belonging to London), a second-round pick in 2020, a third-round pick in 2022, a third-round pick in 2024 and a conditional second-round pick in 2024.
Tippett was then moved two days later to Saginaw. In return for the Canadian junior forward and Florida Panthers prospect, Mississauga received forward Aidan Prueter, a third-round pick and seventh-round pick in 2019, a second-round pick (Barrie), third-round pick and seventh-round pick in 2020, and Sudbury’s second-round selection in 2021. Tippett racked up a record 114 goals and 203 points in just 182 regular season games with Mississauga.
“Owen is a wonderful teammate and as fans have seen, a very electrifying hockey player,” Steelheads general manager James Richmond said of Tippett, who was the club’s fourth overall pick in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection. “He will be missed and we wish him well.”
Prueter was the 24th overall pick of the Spirit in the 2017 OHL draft. The second-year centre has six goals and 13 assists in 36 games this season.
“Aidan brings a high compete level and skill set to our team,” Richmond said. “We had just added another core piece for our hockey team now and moving forward.”
Along with a handful of picks in the McLeod deal, the Steelheads also got another key young player on the blue line in Penman.
The 25th overall pick of Saginaw in the 2017 OHL draft, Penman had 10 points as a rookie last year and had a goal and five assists in 30 games this season.
“While it’s always difficult moving players, we feel we have added a super piece to our backend,” Richmond said of Penman, who played his midget hockey for the Mississauga Rebels. “We see Duncan as a key member of our (defensive) core now and into the future.”
The Steelheads are back in action on Jan. 6 when they host the Peterborough Petes in an afternoon contest at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre. Game time is 2 p.m.
Photo: The Mississauga Steelheads bolstered their blue line with the acquisition of second-year defenceman Duncan Penman from the Saginaw Spirit. Terry Wilson/OHL Images photo