By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
Following in the footsteps of former Oshawa Generals captain Michael Dal Colle, Sam Harding has found himself shipped off to the Kingston Frontenacs.
In a deal announced on Sept. 13, Oshawa will receive an eighth round pick in 2018 in exchange for the 19-year-old centreman. In three seasons with the Generals, including being a part of the 2015 Memorial Cup winning club, Harding played 188 games, scoring 23 goals and 32 assists.
“Looking forward to a fresh start and a new chapter with the @KingstonFonts,” Harding tweeted following the announcement. “Thanks to the @Oshawa_Generals for making the last 3 years a very special part of my life. Friends and memories that won’t be forgotten.”
For Oshawa Generals GM Roger Hunt, he praises Harding’s work ethic and his strong start with the club when he was selected 31st overall in 2013.
“Sam was a great solider,” he says. “(He) was a great guy here to have and he had a lot of success here, but it’s just moving forward in the process.”
And for Hunt, that moving forward will now open up space for some of the team’s younger players to step up. After five preseason games, Hunt says they’re ready to fill that role.
“Certainly, our young guys need to play,” he says, pointing to rookies like Import Draft pick Renars Krastenbergs and second year players like Jack Studnicka and Sullivan Sparkes.
The Generals finished with a 2-3 record in the preseason. The club opens its regular season on Sept. 23 in Subdury, followed by away games in Sault Ste. Marie and Peterborough. The team will return home to the GM Centre on Sept. 30 for the home opener against the Petes.