By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
In a preview of what’s to come, the Oshawa Generals have traded Whitby native Matt Mistele to the Sarnia Sting for a collection of draft picks.
The left winger, who was picked up last season from the Plymouth Whalers, was traded to the Sarnia Sting for a second round draft pick in 2016, and third round picks in both the 2017 and 2018 drafts.
Mistele took to Twitter to thank the Generals organization for the chance to play at home and return to his family.
“Just want to thank the Oshawa Generals organization for the best year of my life,” he wrote. “I have nothing but good things to say about everyone who was a part of my time there from the owner to the coaching staff and the general manager. It gave me the chance to play junior hockey in my hometown and move back home with my family.”
Mistele also had words for his former teammates, with whom he hoisted a Memorial Cup alongside in May of this year.
“I made best friends that will last a lifetime and won a championship with them that we can share forever. Thank you Oshawa for everything. Once a Gen always a Gen,” he wrote.
Following last season’s massive moves at the trade deadline to acquire not only Mistele, but Montreal draft pick Michael McCarron and veteran defensemen Dakota Mermis from the London Knights, Oshawa lost a total of six draft picks: a third round in 2015, a sixth round in 2016, a fourth in 2017, and second and third in 2019, and finally a second round in 2020.
As well, the Generals gave out a 15th round pick and a conditional fifth round in 2017 to acquire Jacob Graves and fifth round picks in both 2018 and 2019 to pick up Alexandre Renaud from the Sarnia Sting earlier in the season.
The dealing to regain these draft picks started early for Oshawa.
Weeks after taking the Memorial Cup, both Bradley Latour and Will Petschenig were sent elsewhere.
Latour went to the Windsor Spitfires for a fifth round in 2018 and the rights to prospect Anthony Kotsovos. Petschenig went to the Saginaw Spirit in exchange for second and fourth round picks in 2016.
Prior to the Mistele trade, the last General to be shipped out was Maple Leaf prospect Stephen Desrocher to the Kingston Frontenacs in early November.
In exchange, Oshawa retrieved third and fifth round picks in 2016, a second round in 2017 along with a conditional third round in 2019 and a conditional second round in 2021.