By Pat Payton
St. Marys Lincolns may have been the busiest GOJHL team last week, making several player transactions prior to the Jan. 10 OHA trading deadline.
In fact, Lincs made so many deals that only four players, who started the 2017-18 campaign, remain on the Western Conference team’s current-day roster.
Captain Tyson Kielt was dealt to the first-place London Nationals. “We’re negotiating for concessions,” Lincolns’ interim GM Bill Bourne told the Independent last week.
The 19-year-old defenceman, from Ingersoll, spent a year and a half in St. Marys. This season, Kielt had 14 points (3-11) in 32 games.
Centre Clayton Lewis, who was leading Lincs in scoring with 25 points (12-13) in 28 games, was dealt to Waterloo Siskins of the Midwestern Conference. The 18-year-old Stratford native requested the trade, Bourne noted.
In a three-team swap, Lincolns acquired two players for Lewis–forward Darcy Winkler and forward-defenceman Shaun General.
Winkler, a 17-year-old from Waterloo, was playing for Rayside-Balfour Canadians (Sudbury) of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL). In 34 games with the Canadians, the 6 ft., 2 inch, 200 lb. Winkler had six goals and 10 points.
General was a member of the French River Rapids of the NOJHL. The 18-year-old from Six Nations is 6 ft. 1 inch and 175 lbs.
Lincs also obtained Daniel Aspro from Fort Erie Meteors of the Golden Horseshoe loop. Lincolns picked up the 18-year-old free agent forward for cash. He had four goals and 10 points in 35 games with Fort Erie.
Another new face with St. Marys is defenceman Jake Mooring, an 18-year-old from Barrie. The 6 ft., 2 inch, 180 lb. blue-liner was purchased from Espanola Express of the NOJHL.
In a separate deal, Lincs also acquired 20-year-old goalie Jacob Hutchings from Espanola. The 6 ft., 5 inch, 195 lb. Hutchings, who hails from Brampton, once played for Kincardine Jr. ‘C’ Bulldogs. “He just wants to finish his Junior career,” Bourne says.
In another late acquisition, Lincolns obtained free agent forward Austin Miaetta, who had been playing for the QJHL’s Montreal Arctic, a Tier II Jr. ‘A’ team. The 5 ft., 8 inch Miaetta is a Vaughan resident.
In two other deals, Lincs traded veteran forward Brody Smith to Lambeth Jr. ‘C’ Lancers and forward Jack Gee to Paris Jr. ‘C’ Mounties. Smith, a 19-year-old from London, spent two and a half years in St. Marys, while the 17-year-old Gee, from Delhi, was acquired earlier this season from the Kitchener Jr. ‘B’ Dutchmen.
In a previous deal, Lincolns traded big defenceman Oliver Wieringa to Woodstock Jr. ‘C’ Navy-Vets. However, the 17-year-old Woodstock native is back with Norwich after the Merchants wouldn’t give up his Jr. ‘C’ playing rights. Wieringa played in Norwich last season.
–Bill Bourne reported last week that there were a couple of “good offers” for goalie Tristan Lewis. The 19-year-old Port Elgin native is still property of the Lincolns, but he’s gone to the OJHL’s Trenton Golden Hawks as an affiliate player.
–The interim GM also reports that there have been some good hockey people apply for the director of hockey operations and general manager positions that the Lincs recently posted. “There have been some good applicants,” Bourne said. Interviews will be taking place in the near future.
People interested in either position can still apply to Bourne.
–Lincolns have 17 regular-season games remaining, which includes two postponed games.
Lincs’ home game against Leamington Flyers last Friday night was postponed due to inclement weather. It’s been re-scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 3 in St. Marys at 7:30 p.m.
–Lincs (6-23-1-3) host London tonight (Friday, Jan. 19) at the PRC at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, St. Marys travels to Komoka to meet the Kings at 7:15 p.m.
Lincolns continue to sit just one point out of the final playoff spot.