The Saginaw Spirit announced two trades involving goalies Monday afternoon.
Spirit General Manager Dave Drinkill first announced the trade of backup goalie David Ovsjannikov to the Barrie Colts in exchange for a seventh-round selection in the 2018 OHL priority selection draft.
Drinkill also noted the Spirit acquired goalie Cameron Zanussi and a future fourth-round pick in 2018 from the Mississauga Steelheads in exchange for goal tending prospect Joseph Murdaca and Saginaw's ninth-round pick in the 2018 OHL priority selection draft.
Ovsjannikov – an 18 year old originally from Plzen, Czech Republic- moved to the Detroit area to play in the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies hockey system where he was noticed by Spirit scouts and selected 88 overall in the fifth-round of the 2013 OHL priority selection draft. He leaves the Spirit with a 2-4-0-0 record through 9 appearances this season with a 4.26 GAA and a .873 save percentage.
“We wish David the best of luck as he turns to the next chapter of his hockey career with the Barrie Colts, Drinkill said in an email released Monday afternoon. “We want to thank him for everything he has done on and off the ice for the organization. We feel this is a deal that will help David and his hockey career. He will get a chance to start some games over the next month in Barrie and help prove that he will be a part of their plans moving forward. It is never easy making trades, but both Saginaw and Barrie feel this is best for David's career moving forward and that's what we want for all of our players.”
Zanussi, a 19 year old from Oshawa, ON is in his second OHL season after being selected by Mississauga 233 overall in the twelfth-round of the 2012 OHL priority selection draft. In 26 OHL games he has a record of 4-12-1-2 with a 4.15 GGA and a .878 save percentage.
Monday's moves clear room for Saginaw's 2015 highly touted third-round draft pick Brendan Bonello to eventually move into the Spirit rotation -while at the same time- giving Murdaca his chance to play in the OHL. Bonello is currently honing his craft playing with the Toronto Jr. Canadiens in the OJHL.
“In acquiring Cameron, we are getting an OHL experienced goalie that can help spell Evan Cormier and help push him to keep his game trending upwards,” Drinkill said via email. “It is tough to give up a goaltender like Joseph Murdaca in this trade, as he has been playing well for the Niagara Falls Canucks in Jr. B, but with Brendan Bonello in our system we felt we were dealing from a position of strength and did not want to hinder Murdaca's chance to be an OHL goalie this season. This trade gives us a valuable draft pick that we can use to help continue to draft and develop future Saginaw Spirit players as we strive to be a contender in the western conference.”
Zanussi will dress for Wednesday's I-75 divide rivalry game between the Spirit and the Flint Firebirds at the Dow Event Center. Face off is set for 7:05 p.m.
“I'm really excited to get an opportunity and a fresh start with the Saginaw Spirit,” Zanussi said in an email press release Monday afternoon. “I know I am coming in to fill a role with the club and [I'm] looking forward to getting to play with 'Corms' (Evan Cormier) who is from my hometown.”