Back at the 2014 trade deadline, the Guelph Storm traded Hunter Garlent to the Peterborough Petes.
Garlent was a great kid, a good player getting better and liked the team and the coaches. But he wanted out.
Undrafted, he was looking for a contract and on the best Guelph Storm team ever he was buried on the third line, rarely seeing the power play and likely sliding down the depth chart as the team went with older players.
That’s fair. Nothing personal. It’s just the way it is in junior hockey and everyone has the right to look out for their best interests.
Fast forward to Thursday’s trading of Mason Primeau, a player in his draft year looking to impress, playing third and fourth line minutes and likely not seeing that change in the foreseeable future as the Storm will likely add some veteran players soon.
So off he goes to North Bay, in search of ice time and the attention of NHL scouts.
Primeau can skate, he's got excellent hockey sense and he doesn't shy away from the rough going.
He showed flashes in Guelph, but wasn't producing points the way the team needs. That's often the case with young players, particularly ones that are six-foot-five and still growing into their body. Sometimes those big kids progress quickly (see: Ratcliffe, Isaac) and sometimes it takes longer (see: Auger, Justin).
But he wasn’t producing enough to warrant top two line minutes. I’m sure there are lots of opinions as to why that is.
Guelph is in need of more scoring. That’s not entirely Primeau’s fault, but they don’t have the luxury of waiting a year or two for him to develop, a luxury they might have been afforded in previous seasons.
They didn’t get a scorer back for him, but the two second round picks will likely be used to help acquire a scorer or fill some other need, before the Jan. 10 trade deadline.
In 2014 the Storm received Stephen Pierog, now the pride of the ECHL’s Greenville Swamp Rabbits, and four second round picks for Garlent. Pierog helped them get to the Memorial Cup, three of the picks were eventually parts of other trades, one was the pick used to select Cam Hillis in the 2016 draft.
What return Primeau eventually ends up being will likely be known a lot sooner than the eventual return they got for Garlent.