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The Charlottetown Islanders got their shopping done early.
The Isles stood pat Monday on the final day of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) trade period.
“We looked and we listened, and we had a few conversations, but nothing was really close,” head coach and general manager Jim Hulton said after the 1 p.m. deadline passed. “We’re happy with where we’re at. That’s why we were aggressive and active early.”
The Islanders (12-2-0-0) were tied with the Val-d’Or Foreurs (10-1-2-2) for first place in the league standings at the Christmas break.
They acquired two top-six forwards in Bailey Peach and Patrick Guay in separate deals with the Sherbrooke Phoenix, plus veteran defencemen Sean Stewart and Braeden Virtue in swaps with Moncton and Gatineau, respectively.
The additions are expected to help boost the club for what is hoped to be a long playoff run.
“When you add guys of Guay and Peach’s calibre up front, you’re a heck of a lot more polished on the offensive front,” the bench boss said. “And we’re harder to play against defensively with the addition of Virtue and Stewart.”
Hulton said there’s usually a sigh of relief in the dressing room once the trade deadline passes.
“It’s an anxious time for everybody involved,” he acknowledged. “It’s been an unprecedent year in many, many ways and it’s nice we know the group moving forward.”
The COVID-19 pandemic played a factor across the league. Hulton said some teams loaded up last year only to have the season halted in mid-March and the playoffs cancelled.
“They didn't know this was coming,” Hulton said. “Right now, we have to understand that there is uncertainty, so it definitely changed the approach for a lot of us.”
Monday’s biggest move saw Saint John trade centre Joshua Roy, the first player taken in the 2019 QMJHL draft, to Sherbrooke for three first-round picks and a second.
Click HERE for the full list of trades.
Alex Beaucage, who won the Memorial Cup with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in 2019, was dealt to Victoriaville for first- and seventh-round draft picks.
Sherbrooke completed two deals Sunday night, sending Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Samuel Poulin and former Isles defenceman Xavier Bernard to the Foreurs for draft picks.