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New faces in new places: 5 players to watch as playoff push continues

 

As CHL teams begin gearing up for the postseason, some were also busy looking toward the future by adding key pieces to their organizations in recent weeks. As it stands, the OHL and QMJHL trade deadlines have come and gone, while WHL teams have until January 17 to make their final moves. With that in mind, here are some of the most intriguing deals to date:

Hamilton acquires top centre Mason McTavish from Peterborough

The Bulldogs made a splash over the weekend by grabbing Anaheim Ducks first rounder Mason McTavish from the Petes. This season, the 18-year-old forward has appeared in only five games with Peterborough, scoring six goals and one assist after starting the season in Anaheim where he skated in nine games, finding the back of the net twice and adding an assist. McTavish also appeared in three contests with the AHL’s San Diego Gulls where he had a goal and an assist before returning to the Petes. The Carp, Ont., native later joined the Canadian World Junior team where in two games he had three goals and two assists before the tournament was postponed. On Tuesday, McTavish made his debut with the Bulldogs, coming away with a goal and an assist in a 6-2 win over the Niagara IceDogs. The Bulldogs hope the acquisition of McTavish will push them up in the OHL Eastern Conference as they currently sit fourth with a 16-9-2-2 record. With the Bulldogs, McTavish is expected to form a one-two punch up front with Montreal Canadiens prospect Jan Mysak.

Next game: Friday, Jan. 14 at Oshawa, 7:35 p.m. ET on CHL TV

Edmonton adds budding blue-liner Kaiden Guhle from Prince Albert

The Oil Kings made a blockbuster move in December by adding Raiders captain and defenceman Kaiden Guhle. The Canadiens 2020 first rounder appeared in 17 games with the Raiders this season where he had two goals and 17 assists. The 19-year-old has since skated in three games with the Oil Kings, recording a goal and two assists. Guhle was also one of six returning players from last year’s Canadian World Junior silver-medal team and was named captain of this year’s rendition. Sitting second in the WHL Eastern Conference with a record of 24-9-2-1, with Guhle in tow the Oil Kings have high hopes of winning the WHL championship.

Next game: Saturday, Jan. 15 vs. Brandon, 2 p.m. MT on CHL TV

Saint John picks up President Cup-winning goalie Nikolas Hurtubise from Victoriaville

The 2022 Memorial Cup presented by Kia host Sea Dogs were wheeling and dealing last week, adding reinforcements to make a run at winning the Memorial Cup. One of their key moves was picking up netminder Nikolas Hurtubise from the Tigres. The 19-year-old was an essential part of Victoriaville’s success last season en route to capturing the QMJHL’s President Cup. In all, Hurtubise went 11-4 with a .908 save percentage and 2.54 goals-against average. The Sea Dogs are confident a change of scenery will help Hurtubise rediscover his past success and lead the squad to its second Memorial Cup championship. The Sea Dogs currently sit seventh in the QMJHL Eastern Conference with a record of 15-12-0-3.

Next game: Thursday, Jan. 20 vs. Quebec, 7 p.m. AT on TSN Direct

Peterborough grabs local native Chase Stillman from Sudbury

The opportunity to wear the Maroon and White is a dream come true for hometown product Chase Stillman, who grew up watching the Petes play at Peterborough Memorial Centre. The Petes picked up the 18-year-old from the Wolves on Sunday. The New Jersey Devils 2021 first rounder appeared in 24 games with the Wolves this season where he had nine goals and 11 assists. The Petes are optimistic that the move will help them make noise in the upcoming playoffs and the season to come. Peterborough currently sits eighth in the OHL Eastern Conference with a record of 10-16-2-0.

Next game: Thursday, Jan. 13 vs. Sudbury, 7:05 p.m. ET on CHL TV

Portland acquires veteran netminder Taylor Gauthier from Prince George

The Winterhawks are one of the hottest teams in the WHL right now, riding a five-game winning streak. In late December, they saw a chance to improve their team by getting one of the top goalies in the WHL in Taylor Gauthier. The 20-year-old has appeared in 14 games with the Cougars this season, posting a record of 7-5-0-0 alongside a .923 save percentage and 2.75 goals-against average. On Saturday, Gauthier made his Winterhawks debut where he stopped 38 of 39 shots in a 3-1 victory over Kelowna. The Winterhawks hope the move for Gauthier will lead them to a deep run in the WHL playoffs. Portland currently sits fourth in the WHL Western Conference with a record of 17-11-3-1.

Next game: Friday, Jan. 14 at Seattle, 7:05 p.m. PT on CHL TV

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