A pair of LA Kings prospects suddenly find themselves in the hunt for a Memorial Cup Championship as they found new homes at the OHL trade deadline.
Team Canada's Golden Goal-scoring hero Akil Thomas is headed to the Peterborough Petes and reigning OHL champion Markus Phillips is on the move to the London Knights.
Petes Strike Gold at Deadline
The Petes went all-in on their championship aspirations as they acquired Thomas from the Niagara IceDogs in exchange for Cameron Butler and four draft picks.
"We're really excited to be adding a player of Akil's caliber," Petes General Manager Michael Oke said. "He is capable of playing in all situations, has played in big games, and comes through in big moments. He'll be heavily counted on in Peterborough as we move forward in the second half and into the postseason."
Video: Get to know a little more about Akil Thomas
Thomas, who was selected 51st overall by the Kings at the 2018 NHL Draft, heads to Peterborough having just competed with Team Canada at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship where he scored the game-winning goal to help Canada capture their 18th gold medal in World Junior history.
The 20-year-old center scored 44 points (15-29=44) in 27 games while serving as the captain of the IceDogs. In his OHL career, Thomas has racked up 275 points (96-179=275) in 219 games.
Thomas is expected to make his debut for the Petes on Saturday when they host the OHL-leading Ottawa 67's.
London Calling (on Defensive Help)
The Knights added the "All-Star caliber" Phillips from the Guelph Storm in exchange for three draft picks.
"Markus is a veteran player that brings a lot of experience to our blueline. He was a large part of the Storm's championship run last season and we believe he will be a strong addition to our team," Knight General Manager Mark Hunter said.
Phillips, who was selected 118th overall by the Kings at the 2017 NHL Draft, was assigned to the Storm by the Kings on Jan. 1. The 20-year-old is in his final season in the OHL, playing this season as an over-age player.
Video: Kings draft D Markus Phillips No. 118
"It's a great feeling. It's probably the most prestigious organization in all of junior hockey and I'm looking forward to coming in and being a big piece here," Phillips said in an interview with the London Free Press.
Last season, Phillips picked up 26 points (5-21=26) in 62 games with the Storm and the Owen Sound Attack. In his OHL career, Phillips has 120 points (31-89=120) in 259 games.