They don’t call it a rebuild for nothing.
It won’t be anything like last time, but the rebuilding Wildcats are in for a potential rough ride in the second half of the season.
It seems like a long way off, especially given the uncertainty and unprecedented times, but the Moncton Wildcats brain trust are undoubtedly plotting the course when it comes to the 2020-2021 QMJHL Trade Period.
So far the plan has come together with the exception of Ryan Hopkins and Jake Rossi choosing not to report.
Ritchie Thibeau and his staff have done a truly remarkable job with the rebuild.
At this point in the process you have to control what you can control.
I’m sure the lines of communication are always open when it comes to potentially landing key prospects.
The question remains if you were a GM of another QMJHL team aiming at taking a run at a championship who would you target on the Cats?
Who would you want on your team heading into a long playoff run?
Obviously Jordan Spence is at the top of any list.
Spence is arguably the best asset in the QMJHL and clearly he’s the foundation of any rebuild.
Will Ritchie Thibeau ever think of trading within the Maritimes Division?
What’s the fair market value for a player like Jordan Spence?
Clearly that remains to be seen, but rest assured a Jared McIsaac or Benoit Olivier Groulx like haul is clearly what Thibeau is aiming for.
We all know what Spence can do, we all know he’s the best the defencman in the league.
It will be definitely be difficult to see Spence in another uni after Christmas especially given his amazing journey to the QMJHL and the Wildcats.
One has to enjoy their time watching this kid play now because he’s well on his way to the American Hockey League level and could probably play there this season.
Spence is definitely on Team Canada’s World Junior radar which means his departure could come a lot earlier given Hockey Canada and IIHF’s intension of creating a bubble out west for the prestigious tournament.
Don’t waste any time, get out and watch Jordan Spence while you can because he’s going places in the game.
Obviously he’s destined for stardom wherever he goes.
The Secret Weapons
Tristan De Jong, Jacob Hudson and Sean Stewart are the Moncton Wildcats secret weapons.
What about Gabriel Fortier?
Well that ship has sailed. It’s pretty much a done deal. He will report directly to the AHL when the season starts. That’s no secret. Nevertheless, the Cats could definitely surprise a lot of people by picking up some very solid assets if and when the trade period opens this season.
Sean Stewart’s value is skyrocketing given his play this season and last year.
Stewart would look good on any blueline, but he could drastically help solidify and perhaps put a team over the top.
The same could be same about DeJong.
If I were a team fighting for respectability, targeting character and trying to win a championship, I would definitely target DeJong.
You see he’s the type of player you absolutely need to win.
If I was a GM of another team, I would try to land them both in a package deal so they could be a shut down pairing.
Stewart and DeJong compliment each other extremely well.
So how much would they fetch separately or together?
That remains to be seen, but everything is on the table in a rebuild.
Huddy For the Win!
If you’re a team looking to add a player that can play up and down your line up, a player that will do just about anything to win, a player that will seamlessly connect a room and bring a winning attitude to your hockey club Jacob Hudson is your man.
Hudson would be a fantastic addition to any championship caliber team.
He’s an overager that isn’t flashy, and won’t score you a ton of goals, but it’s the intangibles that he brings to the rink day in day out that makes him a true game breaker.
Huddy will win you hockey games, he will win the hockey games that matter most!
That has to be worth a lot right?
Ritchie Thibeau’s phone is probably ringing quite often right now with offers on all of these wonderful players and people.
All of the Wildcats trade assets are the best kind because they all possess character, heart and a team first mentality.
What’s the fair market for all those attributes?
I guess time will tell.
The Wildcats are in for a very rough ride in the second half especially on the backend.
Growing pains and very steep learning cure will confront the young rebuilding Wildcats after what’s shaping up to be one of the most important training periods in quite some time.