The OHL trade deadline featured a slew of big-name deals, with multiple NHL first-rounders switching addresses. In recent seasons, the Saginaw Spirit have not been buyers, but GM Dave Drinkill made a splash this year by acquiring forwards Owen Tippett (Florida) and Ryan McLeod (Edmonton) in separate transactions with the Mississauga Steelheads.
So why go big this year? One reason was the play of first-year defenseman Bode Wilde. “We knew he would be a star, but he really took this team on his back,” Drinkill said. “Players like that don’t come along very often, and we wanted to build around him with other elite talents.”
Wilde, a New York Islanders prospect drafted 41st overall in 2018, came to the Spirit from the U.S. National Team Development Program. He had previously been committed t...
About the Author
Ryan Kennedy is the associate senior writer and draft/prospect expert at The Hockey News. He has been with the publication since 2005 and in that span, Don Cherry, Lil Jon and The Rock have all called his house. He lives in Toronto with his wife and kids where he listens to loud music and collects NCAA pennants.