Belleville Bulls 2010-2011 Season Post Mortem
Final Record: 21-43-0-4
Key Graduates: Mike Mascioli, Joe Underwood
Key Returnees for Next Season: Brendan Gaunce, Austen Brassard, Luke Judson, Stephen Silas, Alex Basso, Michael Curtis, Carter Sandlak
Possible Early NHL Graduates: Andy Bathgate
Draft Position: 5
Offseason Needs: Stable goaltending situation, young defensemen
The Plan For Next Year: The Bulls are lucky. They have all the places in part to continue a rebuild. Brendan Gaunce has been Belleville’s most impressive player on a lot of nights this season and is probably in line for a letter on his jersey. He’s got other good complimentary pieces around him for the long term like Basso, Brassard, Curtis and Sandlak.
The Bulls have to sell. They can afford to keep Captain Luke Judson for his curtain call. But wingers Brett Mackie and Adam Payerl should be moved to bring in some more young pieces to put around Brendan Gaunce.
That having been said, the Bulls might have the single most appealing trade market asset and that is a number one defenseman. Stephen Silas shouldn’t be actively shopped because he can definitely help mentor Alex Basso and whomever the Bulls bring in during the offseason. But if teams come calling for Silas, General Manager George Burnett shouldn’t be quick to say no. It’s easy to see teams being willing to pay a considerably price for a puck mover with some decent size who can play in all situations.
Finally, the Bulls need a real answer in goal. That might have to come in the form of Daniel Altshuller. If George Burnett could get the Team Ontario goaltender to report to the Bulls, it would solve a lot of the goaltending questions for the Quinte Kids. Then Burnett would only have to find a market for either Tyson Teichmann or Malcolm Subban to play elsewhere. Of the two, Teichmann likely has the greater trade value, owing to his draft pedigree, international pedigree and the fact that he was in goal for two of the Bulls biggest victories this season over Mississauga and Kitchener. Some teams could be willing to overlook his numbers this season because of the calibre of team he was on.
If I Could Make One Trade:
To Belleville: Justin Kea, draft pick
To Saginaw: Tyson Teichmann, Adam Payerl
The Spirit will be competitive next year with the firepower that they're returning. But what their first round series with Guelph is proving is that they will go nowhere fast without someone that has the ability to steal games. Tyson Teichmann has done that twice with the lacklustre Bulls this season against high powered opponents. Adam Payerl gives the Spirit the kind of size they'll need to be competitve in the West.
For Belleville, this is kind of an interesting spin on the Nigel Williams-for-Eddie Pasquale trade that these two teams completed a couple of seasons ago when Belleville was making a run at the League title. Kea is still a young player but he gives the Bulls a big power forward that they can develop alongside a core of Brendan Gaunce, Austen Brassard and Carter Sandlak going forward.
BREAKING OHL NEWS:
Aaron Ekblad has been granted Exceptional Player Status by the Ontario Hockey Federation which will make the fifteen year-old defenseman from the Sun County Panthers eligible for this year's OHL Priority Selection.
It is expected that the Barrie Colts, who own the first overall pick in this year's OHL Priority Selection, will draft Ekblad.