By Paul Osborne, Guelph Mercury
Guelph Storm coach and general manager George Burnett had a very busy few days last week. He made two trades and drafted a Russian forward in the Canadian Hockey League Import Draft and feels his roster is in better shape now than it was two weeks ago.
“I don’t want to disrespect the players we traded because you have to give up something good to get something good,” said Burnett, who traded overage defenceman Kyle Rhodes to Sudbury and 19-year-old forward Luke Burghardt and 17-year-old forward Luke Moncada to North Bay. In return, the Storm received overage defenceman Mark Shoemaker and 19-year-old forward Zach Poirier from the Battalion, and a fourth-round draft pick from the Wolves in return for Rhodes.
Last Wednesday, the Storm drafted Russian winger Alexei Toropchenko fourth overall in the Import draft.
“He is a big, physical power forward (6-foot-3, 187 pounds) with great hockey sense and he skates well,” said Burnett of Toropchenko, who was recently selected in the fourth round of the NHL draft by the St. Louis Blues. “He makes our forward group bigger and stronger and we’ll be able to hang onto the puck longer. He has great vision and although he’s a left shot, he plays right wing. He and Poirier, who has a physical aspect to his game as well, give us two right wingers after not having any natural right side guys before this.”
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