North Bay Battalion logo. (Supplied by the Ontario Hockey League)
The North Bay Battalion has traded overage centre Matthew Struthers to the Owen Sound Attack, the same team who traded him to North Bay.
The Battalion acquired three OHL priority selection draft picks in exchange for the veteran forward, including a second-round pick in 2022, a third-round pick in 2023, and a sixth-round selection in 2026.
“We’re in a rebuilding year, and we felt this would give some of our younger players even more of a chance to play,” said Stan Butler, director of hockey operations and head coach via the team’s website. “We didn’t have a second-rounder in 2022, so we get that back, and it gives Matthew a chance to play somewhere else.”
Struthers, who was a third-round pick in 2015 for Owen Sound, was originally traded to North Bay in January 2018 with a 14th round draft pick in 2018, and a second-round pick in this years upcoming OHL Priority Selection in exchange for Brett McKenzie.
In 116 games with North Bay, Struthers scored 56 goals and earned 73 assists for 129 points. In 25 games this season, he had 11 goals, 10 assists, totalling 21 points. His OHL totals are 80 goals, 99 assists, for 179 points in 261 games split between the Battalion and Attack.
Last season, Struthers also played in a few American Hockey League games with the Laval Rocket, the Montreal Canadiens farm team, but has yet to sign a professional contract.
Permitted to dress three overage players for a game, the Battalion now have two on their roster in Brad Chenier and Nick Grima. Head coach Stan Butler says there are no plans to add a third at this time.
“He’s an immediate impact in our room,” general manager Dale DeGray of the Attack said on the club’s website. “We have a young group of guys, and he’s really going to show them what it means to come to the rink every day and perform. He’s going to be huge on the ice as well. Matt’s only grown since we sent him to North Bay two years ago, and he’s going to come back and make a difference for us.”