BARRIE, Ont. - Alex Pietrangelo's return to the Ontario Hockey League will come with a new team.
The Niagara IceDogs shipped the 19-year-old defenceman to the Barrie Colts along with forward Chris DeSousa and goalie Petteri Simila on Friday. In exchange, Niagara receives centre Ryan Strome, defenceman Simon Gronvaldt, two second-round picks, a third-round pick and a ninth-round pick.
Pietrangelo was named top defenceman at the world junior championship earlier this week. Prior to that, he'd spent the season with the St. Louis Blues and appeared in nine games before getting sent back to junior.
"Well we really feel that this is the missing piece of what we are trying to achieve this season," said Colts president Howie Campbell. "This deal will only help with us attempting to win the Memorial Cup this season."
Pietrangelo has yet to play an OHL game this year. He had spent his entire junior career with the IceDogs, having played in Mississauga as a rookie before the team moved to St. Catharines, Ont.
A fourth overall pick by the Blues in 2008, Pietrangelo has played NHL games each of the past two seasons. He also represented Canada at the past two world junior tournaments, winning gold and silver.
Niagara is rebuilding for the future and GM Dave Brown expressed some sadness after trading Pietrangelo, the team's captain last season.
"We are giving up some really quality players to help build for the future and it is especially tough to give up a kid like Alex," said Brown.