Two weeks ago, reports stated that the Plymouth Whalers would add talented overage centre Mathew Campagna, as a precursor to turning Columbus Blue Jackets first-round choice Sonny Milano away from Boston College.
Well, one domino has finally fallen over. On Friday, the Sudbury Wolves (at long last?) announced that they have moved the experienced playmaker to the Whalers for three high OHL priority selection picks. That doesn't necessarily seal Milano to Plymouth, but it surely isn't going to squelch speculation.
From Stew Kernan (@stewradio):
Sudbury Wolves trade OA forward Mathew Campagna to Plymouth for two 2nd rd picks and a 3rd rd pick.
— Stew Kernan (@stewradio) August 15, 2014
(Strangely, the Wolves' release simply states two seconds and third. The Whalers' says choices in 2015, '16, '17.)
Of course, there are justifiable hockey reasons for the deal.
First and foremost, Campagna has spoken openly of needing a "new direction" while mourning the death of his billet parent in Sudbury, Fabio Belli. The Wolves surely need to recoup some priority selection picks after loading up last season.
Campagna, after totalling 142 points across the past two seasons, still has realistic aspirations of landing a pro opportunity next season. The Whalers have a reputation for helping late bloomers get a foothold at the next level. Carter Sandlak having signed last season with the Carolina Hurricanes as an undrafted free agent and Mitchell Heard is now in the Colorado Avalanche system after being drafted in 2012 in his third year of eligibility.
In one regard, it is a straightforward move. The Campagna trade was, however, presented as Plymouth addiing a seasoned offensive player in an effort to remove the barriers to Sonny Milano. That's why it's being talked about.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.