Deadline day arrives for Charlottetown Islanders

Jason Malloy
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The Charlottetown Islanders practice on Monday, a day before the QMJHL trade deadline.

The Charlottetown Islanders have one of the hottest commodities in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League as the trade deadline nears its final hours.

“It’s not secret, most teams in the league want Jack Nevins,” general manager Grant Sonier told The Guardian on Monday.

The Islanders captain has had a breakthrough year with 14 goals and 22 assists in 41 games this season and is fifth in the league with 98 penalty minutes. Sonier called him the “perfect fit” for a team looking to have a long playoff run.

“Whoever wins our league has to go through four rounds of hell and I think Jack is prepared to do that,” he said.

While Sonier admits he has received lots of good offers for Nevins he is in no hurry to move the team’s leader, unless it is the right fit for all parties.

The trade deadline is today at 1 p.m. Atlantic.

Nevins is skating on the Islanders’ top line with Alexandre Goulet and Daniel Sprong and providing space for the creative rookies.

“I will not jeopardize the young players,” Sonier said.

For his part, Nevins said he would be pleased to see the deadline arrive and admitted to being a bit “on edge” Monday.

“It’s a tough time, for sure,” he said. “Being an older guy, and the direction the team is going, it keeps me on my toes right now.”

While Nevins is the well-talked about trade piece, the Islanders general manager has fielded other calls and placed some himself in an effort to improve the club.

“There are other players in play right now too,” he said.

The trade period has gradually heated up and things were busy on Monday, despite no trades being announced.

“I suspect it will be like a horse race right to the wire,” Sonier said. “We have pieces that people want and some of those pieces we’re prepared to move.”

He would like to add another forward who could play in the top six and it doesn’t have to be a youngster, either.

“We’re not going to go completely young,” Sonier said, “If the right ’94 is out there who can act as a great overage (player) next year.”

Sonier has already completed seven deals during the trade period.

While some use the word rebuild to describe the direction, the general manager has a different assessment.

“I don’t think that we’re a worse team today than we were before the moves,” he said. “I like our young talent we brought in.”

And Sonier is dealing from a position of strength.

“I told the other GMs I don’t have to move these players,” he said.

Organizations: Islanders, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, The Guardian

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