The Moncton Wildcats faithful are bracing themselves for the second wave of trades within the organizations latest rebuild.
The first wave of trades during the 2020 QMJHL Draft were pretty painful for the franchises loyal followers.
Painful, but necessary.
The departure of Elliot Desnoyers, Zachary L’Heureux and captain Jakob Pelletier shook the fan base, but everyone knew the writing was on the wall.
When you go all in, sometimes it doesn’t always work.
Who could have predicted a global pandemic?
Nevertheless, things don’t appear to be as bleak as they once did for the Cats.
A matter of fact the Jakob Pelletier trade could in fact be ranked as potentially the best trade the franchise has every made if things play out to plan.
The second wave of trades won’t be like last time, it won’t be like 2016-2017.
Hockey fans have amazing memories, sometimes to a fault, but it won’t be like last time.
Things might get a little thin after the trade period, but it won’t be as brutal as the infamous 2017 Trade Period.
Anyone and everyone on the Cats roster during that trade period in 2017 had to go.
It was a purge like no other.
The Cats had fallen on tough times in previous years, but no one had ever witnessed something like this in the Hub City.
You see 2020-2021 won’t be like that.
The Driver’s Seat
The powers that be have learned all the lessons.
Things are different this time around.
The Moncton Wildcats and their Director of Hockey Ops, Ritchie Thibeau will follow their plan to the letter.
They will execute the rebuild to perfection, which they have done so far.
Things aren’t as desperate as people assumed or perceived them to be.
If anything Thibeau and his staff are in the drivers seat right now when it comes to making potential trades at the QMJHL trade period whenever that might be.
Obviously, they may have to make a few difficult decisions with regards to a few roster spots at the start of the season, depending on what direction they decide to go in.
Trust me they have already hit homeruns on the import draft front and on free agent acquisitions.
Thibeau and his staff have quietly built the next core group of the franchise, for now it’s all about adding to it.
One would assume the Cats key 19’s and 20’s are all likely on the trading block with Jordan Spence leading the way.
There’s no question Spence will garner a return similar to that of Jared McIssac this season.
Spence is arguably the best asset in the entire QMJHL.
Sean Stewart and Tristan De Jong will also be a highly sought after commodities come the trade period.
Most teams in the Q would long for players like Stewart and De Jong heading into the second half and playoffs.
Stewart and De Jong could surprisingly fetch a wicked return for the Cats if the right team or teams decide they need two great two-way, shut down defenders.
Captain My Captain
One would presume Jacob Hudson will be named captain of the Moncton Wildcats come September.
Hudson is a perfect candidate for showing the organizations young and upcoming talent what it means to be a Wildcat.
You see it’s all about the “Wildcat Way.”
Without culture you have nothing.
#92 epitomizes what a true leader should be.
Hudson does it on and off the ice.
The kid from Antigonish, Nova Scotia does all the little things it takes to win.
#92 is the heart and soul of the Moncton Wildcats.
It will no doubt hurt the Cats faithful when teams come calling for Spence, Hudson, Stewart and De Jong, but what about Philippe Daoust?
Would the Wildcats ever part ways with him?
I guess that would all depend on the offer, but I would assume Daoust is part of the plan for 2021-2022.
The kid from Barrie, Ontario is a star in the making.
There’s a very good chance that Daoust will get drafted into the NHL this year, if not, his phone will be ringing off the hook for offers to attend NHL Training Camps.
The highly skilled free agent forward continues to improve by leaps and bounds every time he steps on the ice.
He is a natural when it comes to adapting.
The kid thinks the game on a different level and has the ability to make players around him better, true mark of an exceptional talent.
The sky is the limit for Philippe Daoust.
There’s inspirational feel good stories and then there’s Philippe Daoust’s rise in the game.
People don’t realize how good this kid is and will be in the years to come.
There’s no question Thibeau will have his hands full if a team offers a multitude of significant pieces for Daoust next season at the deadline.
The Dreaded Cycle
It’s not going be like last time, but all downward trends of junior hockey’s dreaded cycle can sometimes sting.
Everyone accepts it, but that doesn’t mean it still won’t hurt.
Temporary pain for longterm gain.
Never fear the Moncton Wildcats will be just fine with Dan Lacroix and his coaching staff at the helm.
Now isn’t the time to panic or make a trade for the sake of a trade, now is the time for patience and trust.
The rebuilding process is in it’s early stages.
Thibeau and the Wildcats have all the assets, they just need to move them for the right return.
It won’t be like last time, the rebuild continues.