From the Stands: Newcomer to bolster Guelph Storm defence

By Paul Osborne, Guelph Mercury

The Guelph Storm bolstered their defence last week by adding 17-year-old Owen Lalonde.  He was the second overall pick in last year’s Ontario Hockey League draft behind the Storm’s Ryan Merkley.  In return, the Storm sent four second round picks and two third round picks to the Wolves along with defenceman Nolan Makkonen.  It was a high price to pay but one general manager and coach George Burnett was willing to pay.

“I had been talking to (Sudbury GM) Rob Papineau for a while (about Lalonde),” said Burnett.  “We talked a little early in the summer and the last couple of weeks we had more discussions.  They were looking for something we had (draft picks) and we were prepared to move some to get a quality player like Owen.”

Former GM Mike Kelly had left the Storm’s draft pick cupboard stocked to the brim with the team having 24 picks this coming year and another 20 the year after that.

“We have 26 kids coming to camp who are either new draft picks like Tag Bertuzzi, Mason Primeau, Anthony Aguanno, (newly signed) Cam Hillis and Keegan Stevenson; plus several players who have already played in the league,” said Burnett. “I expect some real tough choices when picking our team.  They have to know they can’t come here and dip their toe in the water, they had better be diving in head first.”

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