The Tips pulled off a huge trade today, acquiring sniper Landon Ferraro from Red Deer in exchange for center Byron Froese. There was also an exchange of draft picks as Everett acquired a conditional fifth rounder in the 2012 bantam draft and sent a third rounder in 2012 to the Rebels.
Ferraro, who is entering his 19-year-old season, is one of the most talented players in the WHL. The 6-foot, 171-pound native of Vancouver, B.C., was the second overall pick in the 2006 bantam draft and was taken in the second round (32nd overall) by Detroit in the 2009 NHL draft. Ferraro also has good bloodlines as he’s the son of former NHLer Ray Ferraro.
But for all his talent, Ferraro has yet to realize his full potential in the WHL. He scored 37 goals in 68 games in 2008-09, but during an injury-plagued 2009-10 he slumped to 16 goals and 30 assists in 53 games. Ferraro also didn’t see eye-to-eye with Rebels coach Jesse Wallin, and he stated publicly that he did not expect to be back with Red Deer for the upcoming season.
The Tips surrendered a lot to acquire Ferraro. Froese, who’s also entering his 19-year-old season, has been one of Everett’s top players the past two seasons. Last season he had 29 goals and 32 assists in 70 games, and he was a fourth-round pick by Chicago in the 2009 NHL draft. He was also the pivotman on Everett’s fabled “Kid Line,” which consisted of Froese, Kellan Tochkin and Tyler Maxwell the past two seasons.
An interesting deal for Everett. Ferraro was probably the most coveted name on the trade market this summer, so The Tips undoubtedly had plenty of competition in acquiring his rights. Ferraro should help replace some of the offensive skill that departed with the graduation of Shane Harper. Ferraro also plays center, so the depth chart remains intact. Disappointed to see Froese go as he’s a good kid, but the Tips were going to have to give up something valuable to get this deal done. And Everett general manager Doug Soetaert continues his habit of avoiding the third round of the bantam draft like the plague.
—- UPDATE, 1:30 p.m.
So I’ve talked to all the principals in the deal now, and here’s some additional tidbits in bullet format:
– The Tips have been after Ferraro for some time. Soetaert attempted to get Ferraro at last season’s trade deadline.
– Soetaert wanted Ferraro not only for his offensive ability, but also because of his willingness to play physical.
– The Tips had to fend off a lot of competition from within the U.S. Division. Red Deer chose the Everett deal because the Rebels wanted a player in return who could contribute immediately, as opposed to prospects.
– Soetaert also mentioned the need to change the team’s chemistry a bit following last season’s first-round playoff exit.
– Ferraro sounded happy about landing in Everett. He also said the knee that troubled him last season feels a lot better, and he’s eager to prove last season was a fluke.
– Froese was caught off guard by the trade, but he had nothing but positive things to say about his two years in Everett.
– Soetaert alluded to the possibility of another addition in the near future. We’ll have to wait and see if anything comes of that.
So what say you?