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The Charlottetown Islanders have undergone the most drastic makeover since the franchise arrived in the capital a decade ago.
The team completed a dozen deals in 17 days, capped off by five transactions as the trade window closed on Tuesday. The wheeling and dealing included 20 players and 22 draft picks.
“We’ve obviously done a major renovation here,” general manager Grant Sonier said. “We believe in the pieces that are here and in order for us to mature in the proper structure we felt it necessary to go out and acquire the assets that we did.”
“It’s a tough day for some young gentlemen that enjoyed Prince Edward Island and gave us their heart and soul while they were here, but you have to move good players to get good players,” Sonier said.
The Islanders have stocked the cupboards during the past few weeks with a top young goalie (Mason McDonald), a pair of upcoming defencemen (Luc Deschenes and David Henley) and have three first-round picks in each of the next two drafts. The picks could be moved in the future to address other needs.
“We believe our future is extremely bright,” Sonier said.
That future begins tonight when the Islanders host the Halifax Mooseheads at 7 p.m. at Eastlink Centre. The team is hoping to have the recently acquired players in the lineup as soon as possible with some as early as tonight.
The Chronicle Herald reporter Willy Palov said on Twitter Tuesday that Mooseheads goalie Zach Fucale and forward Jonathan Drouin were not expected to be in the lineup until Friday at the earliest.
Earlier this season, Sonier said he wanted to add depth in goal and improve its defence corps. Deschenes and Henley are both 16 years old and were players the Islanders have been watching.
“We’re really excited about both Henley and Deschenes on the back end because they both bring elements that I think that we’re desperately needed on our hockey club,” Sonier said.
While the back end is young there are veterans in Troy Vance and Anthony Cortese to lean on.
“I told the remaining players, this is your hockey team, grab it, run with it,” Sonier said. “We’re going to face adversity no matter if we didn’t make any moves and we have to face them head on.”
Nevins said the Islanders are stocked with great young players.
“They’re going to be a young team, but what a bright future,” he said. “It’s only looking up from here.”
A look at the Charlottetown Islanders’ trades during the last trade period in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League:
> Charlottetown sends F Matt Bursey to Blainville-Boisbriand for F Matthew Cusson.
> Charlottetown sends F Yan-Pavel Laplante and D Julien Leduc to Victoriaville for a fourth-round pick (Baie-Comeau) in 2014 and Victoriaville’s first-round picks in 2015 and 2016.
> Charlottetown sends F Deverick Ottereyes and a 10th-round pick in 2015 to Gatineau for D Vincent Roy and an eighth-round pick in 2014.
> Charlottetown sends G Antoine Bibeau and an eighth-round pick in 2015 to Val-d’Or for first-, third- and fourth-round picks in 2014. The third-round pick originally belonged to Blainville-Boisbriand.
> Charlottetown sends a first- and two fourth-round picks in 2014 to Acadie-Bathurst for G Mason McDonald. The first-round pick originally belonged to Rimouski while one of the fourths was Baie-Comeau’s.
> Charlottetown sends an eight-round pick in 2014 to Halifax for F Liam Alcalde. The pick originally belonged to Acadie-Bathurst.
> Charlottetown sends F Matej Beran to Sherbrooke for Samuel Jutras.
> Charlottetown returns Victoriaville’s first-round pick in 2016 for D Luc Deschenes.
> Charlottetown sends a ninth-round pick in 2014 to Acadie-Bathurst for Robert Pelletier.
> Charlottetown sends F Alexis Pépin to Gatineau for F Curtis Scales and first-round picks in 2014 and 2015.
> Charlottetown sends F Jack Nevins and a fourth-round pick in 2014 to Rouyn-Noranda for F Julien Avon as well as first-, third- and fifth-round picks in 2014. The fourth-round pick the Islanders traded originally belonged to Val-d’Or while the first-round choice they received originally belonged to Blainville-Boisbriand.
> Charlottetown sends D Ryan Graves and a third-round pick in 2014 to Val-D’Or for D David Henley and D Vladislav Lysenko. The pick originally belonged to Blainville-Boisbriand.
A look at the Charlottetown Islanders by their birth year:
F Daniel Sprong
F Curtis Scales
D Luc Deschenes
D David Henley
F Bradley Kennedy
F Kameron Kielly
F Alexandre Goulet
F Nathan Yetman
F Samuel Jutras
F Matthew Cusson
D Kevin Laliberte
D Vincent Roy
G Mason McDonald
F Liam Alcalde
F Zach Beaton
F Julien Avon
D Guillaume Rioux-Legault
D Vladislav Lysenko
G Eric Brassard
F Spencer Cobbold
F Craig MacLauchlan
F Robert Pelletier
D Mike DiPaolo
D Anthony Cortese
D Troy Vance