The 2020-21 Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League season is will soon be underway. Training camp dates and locations for three of the member clubs have already been posted online, while a number of teams already have exhibition games scheduled throughout mid-late September. Preparation from the league office indicates an early to mid October starting date.
After seeing just one trade dating back to late April (Dryden Bound/Matthew Lehman swap) the MMJHL has finally had another one-for-one deal arise. This past week, the St. James Canucks and Charleswood Hawks teamed up for a trade that sent defenceman Ian 8, MacDonnell from St. James to Charleswood in exchange for goaltender Kadin Kilpatrick.
Neither of the two Winnipeggers involved in the trade have actually yet to play for their previous MJHL team, nor is it certain if they will play for their new junior squad, as the swap was indicative of trading for the “players’ rights”.
MacDonnell, 18 played the past two seasons in the Winnipeg High School Hockey League with the Division I St. Paul’s Crusaders powerhouse team. In 52 total regular season and playoff games, the right-shooting defenceman put up four goals, 18 points and 38 penalty minutes. In 21 regular season games in 2019-20, MacDonnell had one goal (a power play marker) and set a career-high with nine points.
Kilpatrick, 20, played within both Winnipeg’s and Manitoba’s AAA programs prior to moving west for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons. He spent the past two years within both the Saskatchewan and Alberta Junior Hockey Leagues. Kilpatrick put up a 10-3-0 record, a 2.67 goals against average and a .887 save percentage to go alongside two shutouts with the Estevan Bruins two seasons ago. 2019-20 saw the six-foot, 180-pound backstop go 8-13-4 with the Canmore Eagles, where he also earned one shutout, a 4.23 goals against average and a .872 goals against average.
The Canucks finished 2019-20 with a 26-18-1 record, which gave them 53 points on the season and a fourth-place finish. St. James was tied for the league’s best home record, in going 17-5-1 in 23 games at the Civic Centre. Charleswood snuck into the postseason as the final club of eight to make the playoffs, going 20-19-6 on the year, finishing with 46 points, but a -18 goal differential.