Year in Review: Trade Deadline Acquisitions
Starting the 2023 calendar year with new faces, the six trade deadline acquisitions made sure to leave their mark on the ice with the Mississauga Steelheads.
When it came to the trade deadline, Steelheads General Manager James Richmond along with Assistant General Managers Michael Doyle and Jeff Kyrzakos dove straight in and got to work.
Adam Zidlicky was the first acquisition by the Steelheads. On January 5, the team traded three draft picks in exchange for the Czech native. Two days later, Mississauga made two massive moves with the Sarnia Sting. The Trout acquired two former first round picks in Angus MacDonell and Porter Martone along with several other draft picks in exchange for Ethan Del Mastro and Luca Del Bel Belluz. That same day, the team made another big trade sending Owen Beck to the Peterborough Petes and acquiring former first round pick Jack Van Volsen, along with Justin DeZoete and 4 future draft picks. Right before the deadline, Stevie Leskovar was acquired from the Petes in exchange for two draft picks.
Impressing from Day 1
Debuting in Mississauga, the newly acquired players put on quite the show.
Adam Zidlicky’s first game was nothing short of exceptional, scoring two goals including a shorthanded marker on January 6. Just a couple of days later, Martone, MacDonell, Van Volsen and DeZoete stepped onto the Paramount Fine Foods Centre ice. The group left Steelheads fans with lots to look forward to, as each of the four players put up at least one point in their debut on January 8. Both MacDonell and DeZoete scored shorthanded goals that day and Martone tallied an assist. Van Volsen scored a goal and an assist, earning him the first star of the game.
Adam Zidlicky: The International Left-Winger
Starting the season with 12 points (5G, 7A) for the Rangers, Zidlicky looked to make a splash with his new team. The left-winger was a solid addition to the Steelheads lineup, using his speed to make key plays, including an overtime winning goal against the Erie Otters.
His performance on the ice turned the heads of NHL scouts, landing him in the 220th spot on the midterm Central Scouting rankings. He finished the season with 24 points (9G, 15A), twelve of which came during his time in Mississauga.
Angus MacDonell: A Stellar Year with the Steelheads
It was a whirlwind year for centreman Angus MacDonell, who began the season with 17 points (12G, 5A) with his former club. Following his trade to Mississauga, he became a key member of the Steelheads lineup by consistently contributing to the team’s offence. In the month of February alone, the centreman tallied nine goals and three assists, including three power play goals.
The Toronto native finished the season with 41 points (29G, 12A), 24 of which were scored for the Steelheads. His 29 goals this season put him second on the team in this category, and his two shorthanded goals tied him for first alongside DeZoete and Luke Misa.
When the playoffs arrived, MacDonell was ready. In just 6 games, the centreman racked up 5 points (3G, 2A), giving him the second-most goals scored on the Steelheads in the post-season. In Game 4, MacDonell scored two goals, one of which was shorthanded, making him the only player for the team to score a shorthanded goal during the playoffs this year.
Porter Martone: Reaching New Heights
Porter Martone has had a fantastic rookie season. In his first few months in the OHL, the right winger tallied 13 points (6G, 7A) with the Sarnia Sting.
He upped his scoring pace significantly after changing into the Blue and White, registering 8 points in his first 10 games. The winger posted several multi-point games and recorded his first career hat trick against the Kingston Frontenacs on March 11. By the end of the season, the Steelhead found himself playing on the top line and put up 35 points (19G, 16A), the most of any Mississauga rookies.
Martone proved to be an integral part of the Steelheads offence during their playoff series against North Bay. The right-winger posted 6 points (2G, 4A) in six games, demonstrating his remarkable playmaking abilities. His tenacity and ability to score in big moments was on full display in Game 6, as he made incredible moves to try and keep the season alive. His three-point game included two massive goals, earning him the first star of the game.
Jack Van Volsen: Bringing the Steel to the Steelheads
Rookie forward Jack Van Volsen was another exciting addition to the lineup. The Brooklin-native had 11 points (7G, 4A) with the Petes before heading out to Mississauga. Van Volsen was met with some familiar faces, having previously played with Martone on the U16 Toronto Jr. Canadiens.
Van Volsen was a consistent contributor to the Steelheads offensive efforts with several multi-point games this year. By the end of the regular season, the rookie totaled 25 points (11G, 14A), placing him second on the team in rookie scoring.
Justin DeZoete: Sophomore Experience
DeZoete has had a busy sophomore year. The Hamilton-native put up 14 points (5G, 9A) with Peterborough before arriving with his new team.
The left-winger added depth to the Steelheads lineup, making a difference playing on the third and fourth lines. DeZoete wracked up the shots on goal, firing a total of 139 shots, placing him in fifth in that category amongst all forwards. He also tied for first on the team in shorthanded goals with MacDonell and Misa. DeZoete ended the season with a total of 22 points (10G, 12A).
Stevie Leskovar: The Towering Defenceman
Entering his second season of junior hockey, Stevie Leskovar played for both the Peterborough Petes and the Mississauga Steelheads.
Leskovar’s size and strength made him a great addition to the Steelheads third defensive pairing. Less than a month after joining the team, the big blue liner scored his first OHL goal against the Ottawa 67’s. The blueliner ended the season with 3 points (1G, 2A) and tallied an assist in playoff series versus the North Bay Battalion.
Four of the six trade deadline acquisitions have had the opportunity to play on the international stage. Both Martone and Van Volsen played for Team Canada at the U17 World Hockey Challenge, with Martone scoring 12 points (7G,5A) in just seven games for Team Canada Red and Van Volsen scoring twice for Team Canada White.
Following the conclusion of the playoffs, Zidlicky, MacDonell, and Martone all represented their countries at the IIHF U18 Championships. Zidlicky scored a goal for his team in the preliminary round against Germany. Canadians MacDonell and Martone helped their team win the bronze medal, tallying 5 points (1G, 4A) and 6 points (3G, 3A), respectively.
With a knack for making excellent plays, it’s no surprise that MacDonell was one of the 56 OHL players included in the NHL Central Scouting rankings. In January, MacDonell was ranked 172nd and moved up 30 spots by April to 142nd. Fellow trout, Zidlicky is also eligible for the 2023 NHL Draft and was noticed by scouts in the NHL Central Scouting Midterm rankings in January.
The rookies, Martone and Van Volsen, have had an outstanding season in Mississauga and continue to put in the work to improve their skills. Next season, we can expect to see the soon-to-be sophomores making even more waves with the Steelheads. Petes acquisitions, Justin DeZoete and Stevie Leskovar, look to further their development and make their mark on the ice.