The Storm announced that they have traded captain Matt Kennedy to the Barrie Colts in exchange for defenceman Ryan Gottschalk along with Sudbury’s 3rd pick in 2010, Barrie’s second in 2011 and 2012.
Kennedy was drafted by the Storm in the 7th round, 129th overall, of the 2005 OHL Priority Selection. After playing 13 games as a late season call-up in his first season with Guelph, the Horseshoe Valley native would go to on to play four full seasons recording over 130 points in a Storm uniform. At the end of the 2008-09 season, Kennedy joined the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL in an amateur tryout. He recorded one goal in four games played.
Kennendy was drafted in the 5th round, 131st overall, by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Offered an AHL contract with the Albany River Rats to start the 2009-10 season, Kennedy declined, deciding to return to Guelph for his OA season. Suffering through injury and a recent suspension, the Storm captain played only 14 games so far this season.
“Matt is a great kid”, Brooks said. “I had a really strong relationship with him so this isn’t easy for me, it’s like trading away my younger brother.”
Gottschalk, signed as a free agent with the Colts in 2006 and has played in Barrie ever since. Weighing in at 5.11 and 195 lbs, the Markham native is in his overage season. He finished last season with 29 points including 10 goals to lead all Barrie blueliners.
“Ryan is a great defensive defenseman. He is a heart and soul player, great on the PK and a good leader. Moving Matt and his leadership out, we are hoping Ryan will help replace some of that and help with the leadership of the team.”
Ryan will join his new teammates on Friday night in Kitchener and make his home debut on Saturday as the Storm host the Plymouth Whalers for a 2:00 pm start time.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)