Troops trade for Primeau

NORTH BAY, Ont. — The North Bay Battalion has acquired centre Mason Primeau in a trade with the Guelph Storm, the Ontario Hockey League club announced Thursday.

In exchange for Primeau, a 17-year-old left shot, the Battalion sent Guelph two second-round picks in the OHL Priority Selection, in 2020 and 2022.

Guelph chose Primeau, who stands six-foot-five and weighs 182 pounds, in the second round, 22nd overall, of the 2017 OHL Priority Selection from the Toronto Nationals minor midgets, with whom he played on a line with right winger Brandon Coe, the Battalion’s first-round pick, third overall.

Primeau has three goals and four assists for seven points in 20 games this season while drawing 14 penalty minutes. As a rookie last year, he played 60 games, scoring seven goals and earning six assists for 13 points with 30 PiM. He also had two assists in six playoff games.

“He’s a big guy, a big centreman,” Stan Butler, director of hockey operations and head coach, said of Primeau. “We feel that he can fit in well with our other players.

“When we got second-round picks in trades last year, the plan was to use them ourselves or to trade them for players who could help us. That’s what we’re doing here.”

Butler, who’s been on medical leave since Sept. 30, said Primeau was expected to play Thursday night against the host Barrie Colts after joining the Troops on the road.

Both picks sent to Guelph are North Bay’s own selections, although the Troops hold a 2020 second-rounder that originally belonged to the Owen Sound Attack. It, as well as a 14th-rounder this year that was used to select left winger Carson Bantle of Shattuck-St. Mary’s, a Minnesota prep school, was acquired with Matthew Struthers in a trade last Jan. 3 for fellow centre Brett McKenzie.

Primeau’s father, Wayne, played 774 National Hockey League games over 13-plus seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, Tampa Bay Lightning, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs, scoring 69 goals and adding 125 assists for 194 points with 789 penalty minutes. He was taken 17th overall by Buffalo in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft from the OHL’s Owen Sound Platers.

He played the latter half of the 1995-96 season with the Oshawa Generals, coached by Butler.

The Battalion roster now stands at 25, numbering 14 forwards, nine defencemen and two goaltenders.

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