SUMMERSIDE – The Summerside Western Capitals have reacquired the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) rights of a Prince Edward Islander.
The Capitals traded forward Malik Johnson to the Campbellton Tigers in exchange for forward Stephen Anderson, a third-round draft pick and future considerations.
“We really like Malik and it was tough to move him, but at the end of the day we are getting extremely deep up front and are getting tight on out-of-region players,” explained Caps general manager Pat McIver in an interview with the Journal Pioneer on Thursday morning. “It made sense he was the guy we moved.”
MHL teams are allowed eight players from outside the region, which is considered anywhere but Atlantic Canada.
“We are likely going to have to go outside the region to get another defenceman or two, so it gives us more flexibility by moving a player who is from outside the region,” explained McIver.
The 19-year-old Johnson is from Lasalle, Que., and picked up 30 points, including 12 goals, in 39 regular-season games with the Caps last season.
Anderson, who turns 20 on Dec. 23, started his junior career with the Capitals, and was selected as the 2011-12 MHL rookie of the year. In 31 games with the Caps, the Morell native recorded 36 points – 19 goals and 17 assists. Anderson also recorded 16 points, including six goals, in 26 games with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League that season.
Anderson played the last two seasons with the Sea Dogs. He had 27 points, including 12 goals, in 63 regular-season games in 2012-13, and had 25 points, including 11 goals, in 38 games last season.
“If we do get Stephen Anderson back, it’s going to be a pretty good deal,” said McIver. “We will be getting an Island kid who has a ton of major junior experience, and had a good year with us the year he did play here.”
It is important to note that the future considerations will depend on whether Anderson plays with the Caps. If Anderson does return to the Capitals, he will be one of nine 20-year-olds teams are allowed.
The Caps dealt Anderson’s MHL rights to the Dieppe Commandos in the Danny Chiasson trade in December 2012. Chiasson was a key player in the Caps’s run to the 2013 Kent Cup and the final game of the RBC Cup Canadian junior A hockey championship tournament in Summerside.