Prior to the United States Hockey League’s trade deadline at midnight Wednesday, the Waterloo Black Hawks made acquisitions from the Muskegon Lumberjacks and Tri-City Storm.
The trades brought defenseman Chris Leibinger and forward Tim Lappin to the Hawks in exchange for draft picks. Meanwhile, Waterloo sent defenseman Eric Schurhamer to the Lincoln Stars in order to stay within the league’s roster limitations.
“Chris is a steady defenseman with offensive upside. Tim is a veteran who can be used in almost any situation. We look forward to welcoming them to the Black Hawks,” said head coach and general manager P.K. O’Handley.
Leibinger played in 32 games for Muskegon this season and led Lumberjacks defensemen at the time of the trade with a +10 plus/minus rating. The 5-9, 166-pound Saginaw, Michigan, native notched four goals and six assists. Three of Leibinger’s goals were game-winners, including the Lumberjacks first two contests of the season. A 2010 Futures Draft pick by Muskegon, he is committed to Michigan Tech and spent the 2011/12 season in the North American Hockey League with the Traverse City North Stars.
Lappin was in his second full USHL season with the Tri-City Storm. He has appeared in 88 career regular season games, recording eleven goals and 13 assists. A native of St. Charles, Illinois, the 19-year-old was eleventh in scoring for the Storm at the time of the trade. Tri-City chose the 5-11, 175-pound forward during the same Futures Draft in which Muskegon selected Leibinger. Lappin is a former Chicago Mission teammate of Vince Hinostroza.
Schurhamer missed the first three months of the USHL season after being injured during the Black Hawks’ trip to Russia for the 2012 Junior Club World Cup. Beginning with his league debut on December 28th, he played in 14 games for the Hawks, recording three assists, with a -6 rating.
The Hawks anticipate that Leibinger and Lappin will make home debuts at Young Arena on Monday when Waterloo hosts the Fargo Force at 7:05PM. This weekend, the Black Hawks travel to meet the Sioux Falls Stampede and Dubuque Fighting Saints on the road.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)