The Guelph Storm are gearing up for a deep playoff push after acquiring three players and trading away 15 draft picks in a trio of deals on Saturday.
Storm general manager and head coach George Burnett started the busy day by acquiring forward MacKenzie Entwistle from the Hamilton Bulldogs.
The 19-year-old from Georgetown, Ont., had 15 goals and 12 assists through 29 games as the Bulldogs’ captain this season.
Entwistle is just returning from the 2019 World Junior Hockey Championship in Vancouver, where he scored three goals in five games with Team Canada.
He was part of the Bulldogs’ OHL Championship team last season and tallied two points in the Memorial Cup tournament.
“We’re very excited to acquire a player of MacKenzie’s calibre,” Burnett said. “He is a proven champion and outstanding two-way player that can carry a heavy workload in all situations.”
Entwistle is a six-foot-three, 181-pound right winger who was drafted by the Arizona Coyotes in the third round of the 2017 NHL draft but is currently a Chicago Blackhawks prospect.
In return, Hamilton received two second-round draft picks and a third-round pick in the 2020 OHL draft, along with a third-round pick in 2021 and another third in 2023.
The Storm also shored up their defensive core by adding Markus Phillips from the Owen Sound Attack and Fedor Gordeev from the Flint Firebirds.
Phillips is also returning from the World Juniors, where he recorded three assists in five games with Canada.
The six-foot, 194-pound Toronto native had two goals and eight assists in 31 games with Owen Sound this season.
“I’m really excited to join the Guelph Storm and the opportunity that presents itself,” Phillips said. “I’m looking forward to finishing this season and playing in front of all the Storm fans.”
Phillips was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the fourth round of the 2017 NHL draft.
In exchange for Phillips, the Attack received six OHL draft picks.
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Gordeev is a six-foot-seven, 224-pound 19-year-old with three goals and 16 assists in 32 games this season with Flint.
“Fedor is a welcome addition to our team,” Burnett said. “He is a proven veteran in our league and we expect him to provide a defensive presence that will serve as a huge boost to our group.”
Gordeev was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the fifth round of the 2017 NHL draft.
The Firebirds received four draft picks from the Storm in exchange for the Toronto native.
“I’m really excited about the trade and looking forward to the new opportunity with the Storm,” Gordeev said.
All three players are expected to be in Guelph’s lineup on Sunday when the North Bay Battalion visit the Sleeman Centre for a 2 p.m. puck drop.
Larry Mellott will have the call live on 1460 CJOY.