Attack deal Suzuki, Durzi and Roberts to Guelph

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The Owen Sound Attack made one of the most impactful trades in the history of the team on Wednesday morning.


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Owen Sound dealt Nick Suzuki, Sean Durzi and Zach Roberts to the Guelph Storm for Barret Kirwin, Zach Poirier, Mark Woolley and a package of four draft picks.

As part of the deal the Attack will get Guelph’s second-round pick in 2022, third-round pick in 2021, a conditional third-round pick in 2022, and a fourth-round pick in 2019.

Owen Sound traded defender Markus Phillips to the Storm on Jan. 5 for six draft picks, three second-round picks, two third-round selections, and a fourth-round pick.

In all, Owen Sound has traded away its core and turned to youth and draft capital.

Suzuki leaves the Attack trailing Bobby Ryan by just four goals to tie the all-time franchise record.

“It feels pretty weird. We’ve always been pretty good rivals with Guelph, and all three of us going there is going to be a lot of change,” he said Wednesday morning.

The London native followed a lot of speculation throughout the weeks leading into the trade deadline, but a trade to Guelph caught him off guard.

He thought his hometown London Knights may have been in play before they swung a deal for teammate Kevin Hancock.

“It was in the back of my mind. A few of my family members wanted me to go there to be close, live at home. It is what it is,” he said. “I didn’t really know Guelph was really in on us. I’m excited for that opportunity with them, I think we’ll have a strong team moving forward.”

Suzuki said rumours that he and long-time roommate Sean Durzi asked to be traded together are false.


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“That wasn’t the case. Neither of us requested to be traded together,” he said. “It wasn’t a deal breaker. We knew we could be headed to different divisions or conferences.”

The deal happened just before Wednesday’s noon deadline to move over-age players within the Ontario Hockey League.

Durzi, 20, said it’s emotional leaving the place where he did so much growing up.

“It’s kind of tough to remember what life before Owen Sound is like. My main maturing years were in Owen Sound, and I grew into the person I am today,” he said.

The Toronto Maple Leafs prospect was selected in the second-round of the 2018 National Hockey League draft after getting passed over the previous year.

“It’s been really special, it’s definitely an emotional day,” Durzi said. “My last four years here I’ll never forget. It’s something I’m going to take with a positive note, and be happy that it happened.”

Zach Roberts missed a lot of playing time the past two seasons dealing with shoulder injuries, and was caught off guard by the deal.

“I think more of me just wants to get settled and meet all the guys. I think once we get settled, and get closer to the team, that will make us feel better,” he said.

He mentioned it’s a tough day outside of the rink, leaving longtime billets behind.

“Ever since I moved in right at the beginning they’ve been awesome. From cooking awesome food to making me feel at home. There’s nothing better than that,” he said.

One of the cornerstones of the return for the Attack trio is Woolley, a 17-year-old defenceman from St. Thomas. The big blueliner was a third-round pick who was previously invited to Team Canada’s under-17 development tournament.


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Barret Kirwin is an 18-year-old centre, and was originally a sixth-round pick of the Guelph Storm. The Barrie native has nine goals and 12 assists through 36 games this season.

Twenty-year-old Zach Poirier previously served as an assistant captain with the Storm. He was suspended six games on Sunday for a hit-to-the-head, and will miss the next five games with Owen Sound.

This marks the second trade of Suzuki’s career. The first-round National Hockey League prospect was a key piece of the Montreal Canadiens return for former captain Max Paccioretty.

He leaves Owen Sound as one of the most decorated players to ever wear the red, black, yellow and white.

“Just seeing the Suzuki jerseys in the stands is still so cool. I’ve grown a lot getting to play in Owen Sound. They’ve given me every opportunity,” he said. “It’s been one hell of a ride. I’m just sad to have it end like this.”

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