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Saxon on the Storm: Kyle Rhodes emerges on the blue line

It's been a long second half in Stormland, but the play of the stay-at-home defenceman has been one of the few bright spots

There certainly haven't been many positives for the Guelph Storm this season, particularly since Christmas.

The team has an 8-21 record (4-9 at home), with 14 of those losses by three or more goals. Many nights, they've been over early.

But there has been one bright spot: the play of defenceman Kyle Rhodes.

Likely considered expendable at the trade deadline, Rhodes has quite frankly been the team's best player since Christmas.

Since, the the Virginia native has a plus/minus, of minus-9. No that's not great, but it is pretty impressive when you consider how bad the team has been and when you compare it to the other regular defencemen on the Storm since the break: Garrett McFadden (-21), Dmitri Samorukov (-22) and Ryan Merkley (-31).

Those numbers aren't meant to shed light on the woes of the latter three (Bobby Orr would be a minus on this team) but rather to show how well Rhodes has played.

And played a lot.

With the trading of Noah Carroll, the injuries to Austin Hall and Levi Tetrault and the suspension to Garrett McFadden, Rhodes has also played a ton, on many nights the only veteran defenceman in the lineup, playing every other shift and against the other team's top forwards.

It's not easy playing that much against the other team's top line, when the game is in your end of the rink much of the time.

Rhodes has proven to be a valuable stay-at-home defenceman who has drastically cut down on the unforced mistakes. He is physical, durable and low maintenance.

There are a lot of offensive-minded blueliners on this team that like to rush the puck and join the rush. Rhodes isn't one of them.

Tetrault and Hall are cut from the same cloth, but injuries have put both of them on the sidelines, highlighting even more just how valuable that style of defenceman is to a team.

Up until the trade deadline I doubt Rhodes was in the Storm management's overage picture for next year. Those spots, at that point on the timeline, would appear to have been destined for McFadden, Hall and James McEwan.

Now I'm not so sure. Likely the team isn't either.