The Barrie Colts added some offensive punch to the lineup just before the noon Ontario Hockey League (OHL) trade deadline on Jan. 10.
In a swap of Russian import forwards, the Colts acquired Sudbury Wolves leading scorer, Dmitry Sokolov, in return for Alexey Lipanov. Barrie also received a conditional 2022 third-round pick (originally Owen Sound’s), which is contingent on Lipanov returning to the Wolves next season.
In the 19-year-old Sokolov, the Colts receive one of the OHL’s pure goal scorers. The six-foot, 206-pound Minnesota Wild prospect has racked up 20 goals and 38 points in 35 games this season. In a little more than two-and-a-half seasons in Sudbury, the Russian world junior team member has found the net 98 times in 167 career games.
“We play Sudbury eight times a year and we think Sokolov is one of the best pure goal scorers in our conference, if not the league,” said Jason Ford, Colts general manager.
The Colts, who lead the Central Division with a 23-13-21 record, did most of their deadline shopping earlier this season, acquiring OHL goal-scoring leader Aaron Luchuk from Windsor and veteran defenceman T.J. Fergus from Hamilton.
Lipanov, Barrie’s first-round import pick (44th overall) in 2016, had 11 goals and 18 assists in 35 games in his first season with the club. The six-foot-one, 170-pound native of Moscow was a third-round pick (76th overall) of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2017 NHL entry draft. While Sokolov is expected to turn pro after this year, Lipanov could return to the OHL next season.
“Lipanov is going to be a real good player, but we just thought this deal makes sense in terms of getting the club stronger in certain areas this year,” Ford said.
Both Russians will be in the lineup for their new teams when they meet Jan. 11 at the Barrie Molson Centre.
This marks the second time the division rivals have hooked up on a trade this season. Last month Barrie traded winger Kirill Nizhnikov to Sudbury for four draft picks.
Photo courtesy of Miranda Zilkowsky