CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The Charlottetown Islanders have added some offence without moving one of their draft picks.
The Isles acquired forwards Derek Gentile and Cameron Askew in separate deals that cost them forwards Matthew Grouchy and Gregor MacLeod. The deals were announced Tuesday morning when the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League offices opened following the New Year’s break.
The Islanders got Gentile and a third-round pick from the Quebec Remparts for Grouchy and MacLeod and then flipped the pick to Shawinigan for Askew.
“He’s now our leading scorer,” Hulton said of Gentile, who had 33 points in 37 games with the Remparts. “He’s a right-shot kid who plays with a lot of speed and skill. His forte is the power play and, if you look at our team, I think we need to increase our offence, we certainly need to improve the power play; he addresses both of those.”
Gentile is a five-foot-eight, 178-pound right-winger from Sydney, N.S., who Hulton described as highly sought after. The rumoured asking price initially was two first-round picks, but the Isles found a way to meet the demand without leveraging high picks. Hulton said he has received lots of interest on the Val-d’Or (15-19-1-2) first-round pick it owns in this year’s draft, but he has told teams he is not moving high picks.
“In my mind it’s a good hockey trade,” Hulton said of the swap with the Remparts. “Quebec gets two game-ready players right now that can step in at the expense of only one. We managed to convert the pick into another game-ready player.”
Askew fills the overage spot that has been vacant since Adam Marsh left the team for personal reasons in mid-November.
“A big body, skill guy,” Hulton said of Askew, “another right shot, a guy that has the ability to play the middle or the wing.”
Askew, a six-foot-three, 212-pound forward from Boston, has played 296 regular season games and 49 playoff contests. He played 2 ½ seasons with the Moncton Wildcats.
Hulton said while they were able to weather through about six weeks without three overagers in the lineup, it would catch up with them eventually.
As with any trade the Islanders had to give in order to get. Hulton said it’s always difficult to see good players, like MacLeod and Grouchy, leave the organization.
“These are guys that battled hard and were part of a real breakthrough team here in Charlottetown.”
MacLeod can potentially play as an overage player next season while Grouchy still has 2 ½ seasons of eligibility remaining, the same as Gentile.
“It was the only way we would have moved Grouchy,” Hulton said. “It had to be a ‘99 or younger coming back.”
Entering the trade period, Hulton said he expected some tweaking to the roster. He said Tuesday he thinks he’s done, but he left the door open if a deal presented itself.
“We don't want to steal the magic that this group has had. We want to enhance it,” he said. “We thought it improved us in the short term and in the long term with the moves we’ve made the last couple of days. . . The only judge of these is history.”
With the three additions, the team has added more of an offensive flair to its lineup, but don’t expect one of the key ingredients to its success, its work ethic, to change.
“No, because we didn't change our internal leadership, which to me has been the biggest driving force of our work ethic,” Hulton said of the group that includes Pierre-Olivier Joseph, Keith Getson, Pascal Aquin and Matthew Welsh. “People coming in are going to adapt to the culture, not the other way around.”
He doesn’t expect it to be an issue, based on its homework on the players that were acquired.
Askew and Gentile were on their way to Charlottetown Tuesday. Askew will play Thursday when the Islanders (22-12-2-0) host the Rimouski Oceanic (23-10-4-1) at 7 p.m. Gentile is questionable after taking a stick to the eye last week.
A look at the two trades involving the Charlottetown Islanders that were ratified on Tuesday.
F Derek Gentile (1999).
GP G A Pts.
37 14 19 33
Third-round pick in 2019.
F Matthew Grouchy (1999)
GP G A Pts.
33 11 13 24
F Gregor MacLeod (1998)
GP G A Pts.
24 8 9 17
F Cameron Askew (1997)
GP G A Pts.
32 13 11 24
Third-round pick in 2019 (from Quebec).
Around the league
A look at the other deals of the day
• The Acadie-Bathurst powered-up by adding 20-year-old defenceman Olivier Galipeau from Chicoutimi for a fourth-round pick in 2018 (from Moncton), second- and third-round selections in 2019 and a third-rounder (from Gatineau) and a fifth-rounder in 2020.
• The Titan also sent goalie Reilly Pickard to the Sherbrooke Phoenix for netminder Evan Fitzpatrick. Both are 19-years-old. Pickard was 14-11 with the Titan this season, while Fitzpatrick went 9-13 with the Phoenix.
• The league also moved the Moncton Wildcats-Cape Breton Screaming Eagles matchup to Wednesday, at 7 p.m., in Sydney, N.S., from Thursday because of a pending snowstorm.
• The Victoriaville Tigres made a pair of deals with the Val-d’Or Foreurs. They sent a first-round pick in 2018 as well as Saint John’s second- and third-round picks in 2018 and 2019, respectively, for overage goalie Etienne Montpetit. They also traded overage centre James Phelan, Acadie-Bathurst’s third-round pick in 2018 and their own third in 2019 for centre Simon Lafrance, Gatineau’s fifth-round pick in 2019 and their own eighth-round pick in 2019.