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'How big's the dad?'

The OHL trade deadline once again raises the question of how far in the future should teams be allowed to trade draft picks?

It is a dusty old joke in OHL circles, regurgitated during draft time when talking about a promising, but undersized prospect.

 “Yeah, but how big’s the dad?”

Might not be so funny any more.

At the OHL trade deadline the Windsor Spitfires received a second round draft pick as part of a package for Sean Day and Gabe Vilardi that is in the year 2028.

That means that player is turning six sometime this year.

It reignited the debate as to whether teams should be allowed to trade draft picks that far in advance or if the league should put a cap on the length of time.

I’ve said it before, I believe there should be a cap, primarily because a trade where you are getting instant rewards (older players) in exchange for the future (draft picks) should have an effect on the team receiving those older players in a reasonable time frame. Being allowed to trade draft picks that far in advance gives a team plenty of time to recoup those picks and thus never really feeling the effects of the deal.

Some believe allowing OHL teams to trade future first round draft picks – as they can in the Quebec and Western leagues – would help prevent massive amounts of picks, and picks 10 years down the line, from being traded.

Perhaps, but I wonder if that is just trading one set of issues for another.

If a team can trade first round picks, and trades several of them to “go for it” or to build a strong team to host the Memorial Cup, let’s say, that could potentially cripple a franchise for years.

Not sure there is a perfect system, but the one they have now seems seriously flawed.

The Guelph Storm’s lone move at the trade deadline was to maximize the return on last-year player Givani Smith.

Three second round picks is a pretty decent return and help stock the cupboard for future acquisitions, but two of those picks fill a draft-day need, given that the Storm didn’t have a second round pick in 2020 and 2021 until the trade, so they are not extras.

It might have made sense to bring in another body or two for this year, given that they currently have 20 players. No extras.

The only players currently under contract they could call up are defencemen Anthony Aguanno (tier II Oakville) or Andrew Sommerville (junior B St. Catharine’s).

There is also the chance the team signs other players on its protected list if needed.

I think Burnett was hesitant to bring in more bodies just for the sake of having them, given that he wants the team’s young players to continue to get the ice time necessary for their development.

But they will almost certainly end up playing some games shorthanded the rest of the way, unfortunate given that fourth place seems attainable after all the trade deadline dust has settled.