Guelph Storm acquire defenceman from Flint Firebirds for picks

The Guelph Storm have acquired defenceman Jack Harper from the Flint Firebirds in exchange for draft picks.

Harper is a product of the Guelph Minor Hockey program and was selected by the Firebirds in the seventh round of the 2018 OHL draft.

The 2002-born right-handed defenceman played 39 games for Flint in the 2019-20 season, recording two assists and four penalty minutes.

“Jack is a very mobile defenceman who competes hard and moves the puck effectively. He’ll add some veteran experience to our young group this season,” said head coach and general manager George Burnett.

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Before joining the Firebirds, Harper spent the 2018-19 season with the OJHL’s Burlington Cougars where he recorded nine goals and 10 assists in 43 games.

With the addition of Harper, the Storm will have four 19-year-old players on their blueline this season that already features Daniil Chayka, Michael Bianconi and Luka Profaca.

Burnett has hinted that Michael Buchinger and Cameron Allen, first-round picks in 2020 and 2021, respectively, are expected to slot in as well.

Import selection Leo Hafenrichter is expected to round out the defensive core with Guelph likely to carry seven defencemen.

The trade announced on Tuesday sees a sixth-round pick in the 2023 OHL draft and a conditional 12th round pick in the 2024 OHL draft going to Flint.

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“I am very excited and honoured to come home and play for the team that I grew up watching,” Harper said.

“I cannot wait to play at the Sleeman Centre in front of the awesome Storm fans, my family and friends.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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