Both The Western Hockey League and Ontario Hockey League trade deadlines have come and gone and both the Vancouver Giants (WHL) and Oshawa Generals (OHL) have made some deals that could potentially have a positive or negative impact on Boston Bruins prospects Fabian Lysell and Brett Harrison.
Now, I’m not here to give you video highlights of goals. I’m not here to just give you last nights stats. And I’m not here to just keep retweeting everyone else’s Tweets in an attempt to win you over. I’m here to give you my own honest opinion and information where you can draw your own conclusions. So, take everything with a grain of salt.
Let’s begin with the Vancouver Giants. Late Monday, the Giants traded away leading scorer Justin Sourdif (Florida Panthers – 87th – 2020 NHL Entry Draft) for Jacob Boucher (Undrafted), a 1st round pick in 2022 and a 1st round pick in 2025. The move indicates that the Western Conference’s sixth place Giants are not all in for this season.
Some have suggested this is a good move for Lysell because he now becomes the go-to guy for the Giants and will provide him more opportunities. Sourdif the center, and Lysell the winger, spent a lot of time together on the Giants top line, had a lot of chemistry and meshed well together. I’m not sure how taking him away benefits Lysell at all as he will now be starting from scratch with a new linemate.
The Giants were on a roll prior to Lysell heading to the World Junior Championships and then back home to Sweden. Since his departure on December 12, 2021, the Giants are a sad 2-8-0 without Lysell and it could have been worse if not for 2 postponed games in that time. There is nothing to indicate that it will get any better for the Giants with Lysell and Boucher in the lineup and Sourdif out. But only time will answer that.
I was hoping for a long playoff run for the Giants. There is nothing better for a young player to experience the pressures of playoff hockey for their development – even in junior hockey. Instead of going through that experience, Lysell will be faced with a different challenge – being the go-to-guy and getting his team into the playoffs.
Unfortunately, we’ll never know which route would have been more beneficial. That said, I still believe the Bruins made the correct decision to send him to Vancouver.
Harrison faces a different kind of adversity. After acquiring Stuart Rolofs (2022 Draft Eligible) just, a couple of weeks before trade deadline, Harrison told yours truly on a podcast that the plan moving forward was for him to center Rolofs and Ty Tulio (Edmonton Oilers – 126th 2020 NHL Draft) on the top line.
That all came crashing down on trade deadline day as the Generals acquired Oskar Olausson (Colorado Avalanche – 28th – 2021 NHL Draft) for Kevin Niendenz and 4 draft picks. The move dropped Harrison from the top line where he was the shooter to the second line with super-rookie Calum Ritchie (2023 Draft Eligible) where he is essentially the set-up man.
The move has also moved him from the half-wall or the blue line on the powerplay to predominantly the net front presence. While Harrison has the size and strength to be effective in that role, it takes away his biggest asset – his shot. It also never hurts to find success in multiple ways and this could just help Harrison’s development along.
One thing I am pretty confident in is that Harrison will not take the changes personally. I know he wants to win and he wants to help his team and teammates in anyway he can. These moves mean he’ll be doing it in a different role and now he just has to go out and do it. But I do think his stats could take a hit and that won’t sit well with the stat watchers.