Battalion acquires Saban from Hamilton

NORTH BAY, Ont. — The North Bay Battalion has acquired defenceman Jesse Saban in a trade with the Hamilton Bulldogs, the Ontario Hockey League club announced Monday.

For Saban and a 10th-round pick in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection, the Battalion gave up defenceman Stephen Templeton, a fifth-round pick this year and a conditional sixth-round selection in 2019. North Bay got Templeton from the Oshawa Generals on Friday for a 10th-round pick in 2017.

“He’s a big, strong stay-at-home defenceman who can play against good players on the other team and help bring some stability there,” Stan Butler, Battalion director of hockey operations and head coach, said of Saban, a 19-year-old resident of Lindsay, Ont.

Saban, a left shot who stands six-foot-two and weighs 208 pounds, was a second-round pick, 21st overall, by the Erie Otters in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection from the Toronto Red Wings minor midgets. He had eight assists for as many points in 33 games this season with Hamilton while accumulating 29 penalty minutes.

Saban played 23 games for Erie in 2014-15 before being traded to the Belleville Bulls on Jan. 5, 2015, with centre Trent Fox for left winger Remi Elie and centre Jake Marchment. Saban earned four assists in 27 games with Belleville over the rest of the season before the Bulls relocated to become the Bulldogs.

In 145 OHL games, Saban has three goals and 30 assists for 33 points with 122 penalty minutes. He went without a point or penalty in three playoff games with Belleville in 2015.

The 10th-round pick acquired by North Bay originally belonged to the Kingston Frontenacs.

Templeton, the 19-year-old grandson of the late Bert Templeton, legendary North Bay Centennials coach, was a sixth-round pick by Oshawa in 2013. Templeton is a resident of Waterdown, which, as part of the Town of Flamborough, was amalgamated into Hamilton in 2001.

With the Troops on a three-game eastern road trip over the weekend, Templeton didn’t play for North Bay.

Butler said last week that he might add a depth defenceman in light of Cam Dineen likely being sidelined into March after undergoing knee surgery in December.

The acquisition of Saban came a day before the OHL trade deadline of noon Tuesday.

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