Islanders acquire MacKinnon, Johnston, Cooper, Weber

Jason Malloy
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The Charlottetown Islanders added size, experience, talent and became a deeper team on Friday by announcing four deals when the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League trade window opened.

They added a pair of Island natives, defenceman Ryan MacKinnon and left-winger Ross Johnston, as well as blue-liner Dexter Weber and forward Oliver Cooper in separate deals. MacKinnon and Johnston will be two of the Islanders’ three overagers while Weber and Cooper are a year younger.

It is part of the team’s plan to insulate its talented youngster with character players to help the maturation process.

“If we want the Kameron Kiellys and the Bradley Kennedys, the (Alexandre) Goulets, the (Daniel) Sprongs of the world to evolve into what we all think they can, they need people to guide them down that road,” general manager Grant Sonier said.

The Islanders brass identified a need to bring in an overage player with high leadership and character qualities. When it evaluated potential players, MacKinnon and Johnston were atop the list.

To acquire the four players, it shipped out four first-round picks and 17-year-old defenceman Kevin Laliberte.

One of the reasons Charlottetown was able to move the picks was because of the assets it acquired at the trade deadline. On top of the pick it also brought guys like goalie Mason McDonald and defencemen David Henley and Luc Deschenes to town.

“What goes unnoticed, maybe, is the picks we acquired,” Sonier said.

Charlottetown had 16 picks before Friday’s moves in Saturday’s draft, including five in the top 50, and three first-round selections in 2015.

The picks are important, but they are unproven commodities.

“It made more sense to plug pieces into accentuate what we already have than to continue to stockpile (picks),” Sonier said.

“I have a lot of confidence our hockey club can take big leaps this year and the following year."

 

A look at the players involved in the deals:

Charlottetown acquires defenceman Ryan MacKinnon from Rimouski for a first-round pick (16th overall) in 2014 and a fifth-round pick in 2015.

Profile

Ryan MacKinnon

Age – 19

Size – Five-foot-11, 193 pounds.

Hometown – Summerside

Did you know? He was the Oceanic’s captain last season, taking over for UPEI Panthers defenceman Casey Babineau.

2013-14 stats

GP       G          A       Pts.      PIM

66       4          18       22       28

 

 

Charlottetown acquires left-winger Ross Johnston from Victoriaville for a first-round pick in 2015 (acquired in Yan-Pavel Laplante deal).

Profile

Ross Johnston

Age – 20

Size – Six-foot-four, 230 pounds

Hometown – Suffolk.

2013-14 stats

GP       G          A       Pts.      PIM

60       10       15       25       139

 

Charlottetown acquires forward Oliver Cooper from Saint John for first-round picks in 2014 (15th overall) and 2016.

Profile

Oliver Cooper

Age – 19

Size – Six-foot-three, 197 pounds

Hometown – Fredericton

2013-14 stats

GP       G          A      Pts.      PIM

68       28       29       57       105

 

Charlottetown acquires defenceman Dexter Weber from Drummondville for defenceman Kevin Laliberte.

Profile

Dexter Weber

Age – 18

Size – Six feet, 185 pounds

Hometown – Kitchener, Ont.

2013-14 stats

GP       G          A       Pts.      PIM

62       2          20       22       24

 

Organizations: Islanders, MacKinnon, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Drummondville, Iceland Rimouski Victoriaville Suffolk Saint John Fredericton Kitchener

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