After trading captain Joe Veleno a few weeks, the Sea Dogs traded another one of their top point getters on Saturday, dealing Daniel Hardie to the Charlottetown Islanders in exchange for three draft picks.
In return for Hardie, Saint John receives a 2018 fourth-round pick (previously belonging to the Gatineau Olympiques), a 2018 fifth-round pick and a conditional 2020 fifth-round pick.
Hardie was the team's second leading scorer (third if you include Veleno) with 12 goals and 18 assists in 37 games. He led the team in goals for much of the first half.
The 19-year-old forward was acquired from the Rimouski Oceanic in August (along with Alexis Girard) in the deal that saw Chase Stewart and an eight-round pick go the other way.Thanks to everyone involved with @SJSeaDogs from the fans, coaches, trainers, and especially my teammates and billets. I really enjoyed my time in Saint John. With that being said, I'm extremely excited to join @IslandersHKY for a big second half! #ProtectTheBridge— Daniel (@danielhardie81) January 6, 2018
Despite putting up solid numbers, Hardie was a healthy scratch at times this season. While the return isn't huge, Hardie's age certainly doesn't align with Saint John's rebuild.
Seeing Hardie traded isn't a big surprise, but it is still surprising to see the Sea Dogs hang on to so many players in a rebuilding season. There's always the trading period at June's draft, but this was not the complete tear down many expected.
Saint John made six deals total during this trade period with the Veleno transaction being the only blockbuster. The team did make - what appears to be at this time anyway - a few solid minor deals, picking up Yohan Plamondon, Tommy Da Silva and a second-round draft pick.
It was a fairly quiet final day of trading around the league. The Samuel Leblanc deal was made official.
The only blockbuster deal finalized on Saturday saw Cape Breton trade Canadian world junior forward Drake Batherson to the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.I would like to thanks the organization of the @SJSeaDogs for everything they’ve done for me the past 2 years. Also, I can’t say enough about my awesome billet family and teammates. That being said, I’m extremely excited to join the @ArmadaBLB and start this new challenge!— sam leblanc (@fresh_samy) January 6, 2018