Marty Williamson and his Niagara IceDogs have an interesting predicament on their hands. Currently sitting 3rd in the OHL’s Central Division, behind the Barrie Colts and the Mississauga Steelheads. The IceDogs need to decide whether or not they will be buyers or sellers come the January trade deadline. The IceDog’s papered roster looks deceivingly good, as the IceDogs on ice performance does not reflect what you would expect to see out of a roster that includes the likes of Brendan Perlini, Josh Ho-Sang, Anthony DiFruscia and more. 

Well, what way will the IceDogs go? Will they be buyers like they were last season when they went out and got Josh Ho-Sang from the Windsor Spitfires? Or will they take last season as a lesson and become sellers?

“We’re going to evaluate here over the next 10 games,” says IceDogs GM Marty Williamson after mentioning that the OHL, after the craziness that was Tuesday, is very quiet.

What do I think the IceDogs should do? I think the IceDogs should learn their lesson from last season and become sellers this year. Williamson’s squad boasts many 1996 born players that could bring a boat load of assets for the IceDogs to launch their retooling process with. Not to mention the fact that if their current talent ridden roster cannot outperform the Mississauga Steelheads, than it probably just wasn’t meant to be.

7 of the next 10 games for the IceDogs will be played on home ice and will feature talented opposition such as Erie, Barrie, Oshawa and Windsor.

As for the unloadable talent the IceDogs have, I will outline in order of who I think will be most coveted should Williamson decide to sell.

  1. Brendan Perlini – LW 
    The Arizona Coyotes signed prospect boasts 7 goals and 7 assists for 14 points in 13 games played with the IceDogs this season. Since returning to the IceDogs from a broken hand injury sustained at last year’s Arizona Coyotes camp, Perlini has totalled 74 points in 56 games played. The former 12th overall pick of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes will be the most coveted IceDogs’ asset, should they decide to sell.
  2. Vince Dunn – D
    At 6’0, 185lbs, the St. Louis Blues signed prospect boasts an impressive 4 goals and 9 assists for 13 points in 15 games played with the IceDogs this season. Dunn was selected 56th overall by the St. Louis Blues in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Should the IceDogs decide to sell, this left handed shot defender will be the second most coveted IceDogs’ asset, and much like Perlini, could fetch an astronomical return.
  3. Blake Siebenaler – D
    The Fort Wayne, Indiana native Siebenaler is a signed prospect of the Columbus Blue Jackets. At 6’1, 190lbs, Siebenaler, a right handed shot defender, has scored 2 goals and 2 assists while carrying a +7 rating through 15 games for the IceDogs this year. Blake was selected in the 3rd round (77th overall) by Jarmo Kekalainen’s Columbus Blue Jackets at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
  4. Josh Ho-Sang – RW
    After being sent to the Niagara IceDogs almost immediately from the New York Islanders after showing up late to the first day of training camp, Josh Ho-Sang is currently the IceDogs’ leading scorer. The Thornhill, ON native has scored 5 goals and added 17 assists for 22 points in his 15 games played for the IceDogs this season. Surely, if attitude was not in question, Josh would be at the top of this list. Unfortunately, attitude is a huge question for the signed New York Islanders prospect and if it comes down to the IceDogs becoming sellers, I don’t see many contending teams pursuing Josh at they price the IceDogs would be asking. I foresee some brink teams paying the astronomical price as a way to fill seats, should Josh agree to waive his no trade clause.
  5. Anthony DiFruscia – LW
    The 1995 born overage DiFruscia has had a very consistent and successful OHL career. Teams know exactly what they would be getting from the 5’11, 195lb native of Thorold, ON. In 14 games played this season, DiFruscia has registered 5 goals and 5 assists for 10 points while carrying a plus minus rating of -2. Last season, the talented winger scored 51 points consisting of 26 goals and 25 assists in 68 games played for the IceDogs. The undrafted winger is skating in his last junior season and should be afforded the chance to play elsewhere should Niagara decide to go the other way.
  6. Jordan Maletta – C
    The 1995 born overage Maletta has been bringing his all for the last 3 seasons. After a disappointing start to his junior career following his 13th overall selection by the Windsor Spitfires back in 2011, Maletta is showing us why he was selected that high. If the IceDogs decide to sell, the 6’03, 215lb native of nearby St. Catherines, ON should be afforded the choice of going and playing on more of a contender. Should that opportunity arise, I can think of many teams who would happily accept Maletta and his 14 points in 15 games this season.
  7. Brent Moran – G
    Moving Moran would be in the best interest of the Niagara IceDogs if they want to get some of their younger goalies such as Stephen Dhillon more crease time in an effort to better develop him for the number one job next season. With Moran, it’s a question of will other teams want him, especially with other goalies on the block, Moran’s 3.75 GAA and .864 SV% does not bode well for the 6’04 native of Orleans, ON. Brent is an unsigned prospect of the Dallas Stars after his selection in the 4th round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. All signs point to Moran returning next season as an overage goaltender but for now, I wouldn’t call him coveted, he’d be more of an acquisition to fill a need.

I should also mention guys like Aaron Haydon and Ryan Mantha who I’m sure will be coveted but chances are they return to the OHL for an overage year and it’s for that reason, I don’t think they move, unless requested or a package comes along that blows Williamson off his seat.

Let’s see what they do!

Do you agree/disagree with my list? Let me know in the comments section and we’ll talk it out!

  1. Spencer S. says:

    I believe that, most likely, Aaron Haydon, and maybe Ryan Mantha, should appeal to the London Knights, who are in desperate need of a big, somewhat experienced, defensive defender, preferably with a right-handed shot. Other names that I feel fit (AND MIGHT BE PLAUSIBLE) this need are:
    Tyler MacArthur, OS
    Riley Bruce, NBB
    Josh Wesley, FLNT
    Stephen Gibson, MISS ???
    Stepan Falkovsky, OTT (I know he’s a left-handed shot, but he is another MONSTER)


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