The dust has settled for the Halifax Mooseheads, at least for now.
General manager Cam Russell finalized two more major trades at the deadline on Monday, sending defenceman Jared McIsaac to the Moncton Wildcats and winger Raphael Lavoie to the Chicoutimi Sagueneens.
Both deals had been agreed to weeks ago but couldn't be announced because of the world junior trade freeze. Lavoie and McIsaac were busy winning gold for Canada the past few weeks and players are not allowed to be traded by their major junior teams while they are still active in the tournament.
In return for Lavoie, the Mooseheads receive a package of high draft picks - a 2020 first-round pick, a 2020 second, a 2021 second and a 2021 third.
"We wanted to get good returns, obviously, but we also wanted to give our older players the opportunity to go to good organizations and then have the chance to win," Halifax general manager Cam Russell said. "We felt we did that, for the most part, and we're happy and excited for them.
"It's all part of the process. It's tough to say goodbye to these kids but when you know you're sending them to a good spot, it makes it a little bit easier."
McIsaac is the second part of a blockbuster that also saw centre Bo Groulx shipped to Moncton. The final price for the two stars was two first-rounders (2021, 2022), two seconds (2021, 2022), two thirds (2020, 2022) and a fifth (2021).
However, it's believed most of those picks will be returned to the Wildcats in June for two players to be named later. It's expected Halifax will retain Moncton's 2021 and 2022 first-rounders but Russell wouldn't comment on that speculation or the prospect of future considerations, except to say the trade "will be judged when the dust settles."
The components of the Lavoie deal will not change.
Russell also acquired a first-rounder, two seconds and a fourth - all in 2020 - in earlier moves involving Patty Kyte, Maxim Trepanier and Walter Flower so he will have plenty to work with at the June QMJHL draft in Sherbrooke, Que.
"We've always felt it's best to build the foundation of our team through the draft," Russell said. "We can bring our kids in and work with them and develop them and build relationships. Our draft picks had been depleted over the years and even our draft two years ago, we had to trade a few players from that leading up to the Memorial Cup last year. It was a priority for us to get more picks."
Russell also took a chance on 17-year-old forward Alexandre David, who is playing junior A this year but had five points in 49 games for the Bathurst Titan in 2018-19. He cost Halifax winger Cole Stewart and a 2021 fifth-round pick. David was a second-round pick (26th overall) in the 2018 QMJHL draft. Stewart, 18, has eight points in 35 games this year.
"We scouted him a couple of years ago and like him a lot," Russell said of David. "He's got good skills and I like his age. We've got to start bringing in some younger bodies."
Elsewhere, the Cape Breton Eagles added some championship experience, acquiring Cole Harbour's Tyler Hinam from the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies for East Hants product Shaun Miller and two third-round picks. The Eagles also receive centre Alexis Bolduc in the deal. He is playing junior A in Quebec.
Hinam won the President Cup and Memorial Cup last year with the Huskies and has 38 points in 38 games so far this season. He and Miller are both 20-year-old forwards.
"He’s a true warrior that plays with grit and he’s a guy who went deep in the playoffs and won the Memorial Cup," Cape Breton GM Jacques Carriere said about Hinam to Jeremy Fraser of the Cape Breton Post.
"He’s a guy with good offence, he can score goals, he’s a very hard-nose guy in the red zone, so he likes to go around the net and get rebounds, tip pucks and be involved in the red zone."