The Moncton Wildcats are only weeks away from arguably the most important QMJHL Trade Period in franchise history.
Are they ready to pay the price?
We all know the Wildcats are going all in, but what’s the cost of doing business?
Obviously, no one will really care what the team may look like next season, if the Wildcats hoist both the President Cup and Memorial Cup.
It’s all or nothing for the Moncton Wildcats, but what players are the Cats targeting?
Whispers of possible trade targets have been surfacing for months, but the Cats remain in full lock down mode, and rightfully so.
Nevertheless, the big question remains what will be the price of doing business?
Rest assured no one will be doing the Moncton Wildcats any favours during the up coming trade period.
Asking prices will be astronomical, especially for the players the Cats need to make a legitimate run at junior hockey supremacy.
John Torchetti, Brett Turner and Ritchie Thibeau will have to work for every trade, work for every inch to fulfill the team’s championship blueprint.
In my opinion, the Wildcats need two high-end forwards with skill and grit, two left shooting skilled puck moving defencemen that aren’t afraid to be mix it up physically and maybe a veteran back up goaltender, but that’s unimaginable with their goaltender of the future Charles Antoine Lavallee eagerly waiting to take over the net.
So that’s what they need, but what will they have to give up?
Well, what players would you target if you were the Wildcats trade partner?
That’s easy, go big or go home right.
Jakob Pelletier, Jordan Spence, Elliot Desnoyers and Zachary L’Hereaux could all be playing their last seasons in the Hub City.
Those are the obvious targets, but this is where it get’s complicated.
No trade or movement clauses maybe in effect.
Will it take all of them or only two of the aforementioned players, prospects and draft picks to acquire the four or five players the Cats are possibly targeting?
What about character and energy players like Jacob Hudson and Sean Stewart?
Are they on the trading block?
Do the Cats really need to trade for five players?
How close are they?
I don’t envy the Cats brain trust right now, they have some major decisions to make that will drastically effect the direction of the franchise for the next few seasons. One never knows a collection of current depth roster players could also be on the block as well.
Nonetheless, that all goes out the window when it’s all or nothing approach.
Do the Cats have enough prospects or draft picks with addition to those key pieces to make things work in their favour?
Prospect Wise Who Would Teams Target?
If I were looking to make a deal with the Cats, I would be targeting the following prospects with addition to the big pieces, these prospects and the highest number of draft picks I could get my hands on. Another aspect to consider is the possibility of Rodrigue returning the to the league as an overager next season, which is highly unlikely really, but you could also move his rights as well.
Julien Hebert: The Cats 2nd round draft selection this past June is going to be a solid two-way presence in the Q for years to come. He’s a complete player with tons of upside. There’s no question teams will be kicking tires on Hebert. Hebert is currently playing for the Levis Chevaliers and has 29 pts in 21 games.
Nicolas Pavan: smart left shooting defencemen with good range and plays a solid two-way game. Pavan really stood out and impressed at camp this year. The skilled d-man has to work on his mobility and agility, but the sky is the limit for this player, needs to get stronger and more explosive, but that will definitely come with experience. Pavan is currently playing for the Lac St. Louis Lions.
Long shots, but worth a look?
Jeremy Berube: Left shooting skilled puck moving defencemen with good compete and skating ability. Berube didn’t have the greatest camp this season and failed to make the jump, but does have the potential to be a solid d-man in the Q. Berube is currently playing in the QCHL for the Thetford Mines Filons.
Mark Hillier: It might be a long shot, but if I were a team, I would be targeting the rights to Mark Hillier. Hillier is a very skilled smooth skating two-way forward with great offensive instinct. Hillier has committed to the NCAA route, but one never knows these days. The Cats could have definitely used a player like Hillier in their current line up as a depth skilled center. Hillier is currently playing for St. Andrew’s College and is committed to Merrimack College in 2021-2022.
Dominic LeBlanc: Don’t pay attention to what round he was selected in, just look at his potential and project. The Moncton Flyers forward is on the cusp of the QMJHL. LeBlanc is an elite level skater and has tons potential and could probably be a high quality 3rd line center as early as next season. LeBlanc is off to solid start this season, but has battled injury as of late. LeBlanc will be looking to solidify his two-way game at the Midget ranks this season to ensure he has a smooth transition next year.
As you can see, the Wildcats will have to undoubtedly part ways with several big assets plus prospects and draft picks to ensure they have enough to make a run at the President Cup and Memorial Cup this season.
They can’t dangle their own 1st round selection of this year’s draft because they traded that away as part of the Rodrigue deal.
The Cats brain trust will have to empty the cupboards to make this run, but everything will come out in the wash at the draft, however does that really matter if/when you have two pieces of hardware on your draft table!
Exciting times await the Moncton Wildcats, but what is going to be the cost of doing business?