First the Ramblers picked up Brady Griffin Hefford from the St. Stephen Aces and then they picked up Sackville, N.B.’s Will Lafford from the Edmundston Blizzard.
“We’re very happy with these trades. We picked up a couple of very good players,” Ramblers coach Jeff LeBlanc said.
The Ramblers sent Ryan MacDonald, a second round pick and future considerations to the Aces for Griffin Hefford, who led St. Stephen in scoring last season with 33 goals and 29 assists for 62 points in 48 games.
“He’s a goal scorer,” LeBlanc said, adding he will add to an already strong offence that has Jordan King returning. “He put up a lot of goals last year and he’s a guy that doesn't miss a lot of time to injury. It doesn’t hurt that he’s very good friends with Jordan King.”
Amherst acquired a fifth round draft pick in the Lafford deal, sending forward Pierre Bourgoin (who saw playoff action with the Ramblers last season), a third round pick and future considerations.
Lafford had 16 goals and 11 assists for 27 points in 49 games for the Dieppe Commandos last season.
“He’s a heart and soul kid that works hard very shift. He’s definitely going to be a fan favourite,” he said. “He’s the type of player we’re looking for in Amherst.”
The team also sent Keenan Wedge-Joudrey to the Valley Wildcats to complete the trade that saw them land Grant Janes at the trading deadline in January.
As for the draft, LeBlanc said he is very pleased with his picks. LeBlanc said the club’s ninth overall selection of Tim Noble from the St. John’s Maple Leafs is a player his scouts watched closely all last year.
Noble was also drafted by the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL.
“We liked him a lot,” LeBlanc said. “He’s a kid that wants to come to Amherst if things don’t work out in Saint John.”
The Ramblers also took several other players from the Moncton area including defenceman Alex Wynter, who was drafted last week by the Rimouski Oceanic, goalie Daniel Thompson, and forwards Thomas Ashe and Cole Darragh.
The club also picked up defenceman Hunter Martin from the Pictou County Major Midgets, right-winger Nick Goose from the Rimouski Oceanic, Maxime Robichaud from Louis J. Robichaud High School, Tim Gould from the Notre Dame Hounds, Brendan McCarthy from Newfoundland’s East Coast Blizzard and Malcolm MacEachern from the Cape Breton West Islanders.