Carl Neill traded to Charlottetown in the QMJHL

With the QMJHL trade deadline rapidly approaching, the Charlottetown Islanders are beginning to load up to make a run at the President’s Cup this year. Yesterday they acquired Canucks 2015 5th round pick Carl Neill in a trade with the Sherbrooke Phoenix.

We had reported on rumours that Neill could’ve been on the move since October – it was just a matter of finding the right fit.

The return for the Phoenix was a fairly good bounty given that Neill is an overage player, thus the options of teams that could take him would’ve been limited.

Adding Neill from the Phoenix has been a part of a series of moves the Islanders have made to boost their lineup in anticipation of the upcoming QMJHL Trading Deadline on January 6th.

This excludes adding Daniel Sprong, who will be returning from surgery this weekend after sitting out the entire season so far.

The Islanders currently sit one point behind the Saint John Sea-Dogs in the Maritimes Division, so making a run at the President’s Trophy is easily within grasp, and bolstering their lineup could push them over the top. Given the cyclical nature of the CHL, contending teams need to be extremely aggressive to add players when they have a chance at their respective league’s titles.

For Neill, the leading scorer amongst defenceman in the QMJHL, he moves from the 15th place Sherbrooke Phoenix to the 4th place overall Charlottetown Islanders. At times, it was Carl Neill running the entire show for the Phoenix. If Neill wasn’t on the ice, they weren’t generating much offence and giving up goals. In Charlottetown, he will likely slide into a Top 4 role, with fellow Canucks prospect Guillaume Brisebois and Colorado Avalanche prospect Nicholas Meloche (who was acquired last month in another deal), and not be relied on to be the workhorse.

It will be interesting to see how Neill can adapt to a smaller role. The former captain of the Phoenix has had a stellar QMJHL career thus far, and likely hopes to make the most of his chance.

I would expect Brisebois and Meloche to remain the number one pairing for the Islanders, and Neill will be part of the second pairing. But I would expect Neill to supplant Brisebois on the first power play unit going forward.

From a Canucks perspective, there couldn’t be a better situation. They have two of their best CHL defensive prospects (aside from Olli Juolevi) on a legitimate QMJHL contender, and they will be relied on to handle a huge part of the workload. Neill will have to turn pro next season, and it is expected that Brisebois will as well, so a long playoff run with the Islanders will go a long way towards their development.

  • Brisebois plays the left side and Carl Neill plays the right. Getting these two future Canucks playing together now is best for both. Top pairing in Utica next season if both go pro, or maybe both make the Canucks like Stecher and Hutton did. Wow. It’s getting crowded in a good way.

    • Jamie E

      Two respectable D prospects but neither will be busting their way onto the roster next season. Two or three seasons each in Utica should provide the necessary training on the pro game. Remember that both Hutton and Stecher had the benefit of a collegiate career before entering the NHL.

      • apr

        I don’t think that is going to be an issue next year, as I don’t even think Juolevi is going to crack the roster. Assuming Sbisa gets picked up by LV, the pairings will likely be Stecher-Edler, Tanev-Gudbrandson, Hutton-Tryamkin. Biega 7th.

          • apr

            If I am Vegas, I would rather Sbisa then Granlund, Gaunce, or Biega. The only way I can see keeping Sbisa is if Jim trades Gudbrandson. Sbisa in sheltered minutes is a good to very good d-men, regardless if people think he is over paid. Look what the Coyotes were rolling out in their third pairing…

          • Fred-65

            I think most posters relate to Vcr rather than Vegas. Sbisa has been a lot better this season and as much as I like Biega right now I’d rather have Sbisa than Biega but that’s from a Vcr perspective. As I understand Biega becomes a expansion qualified defenseman abd subject to pick up should Vcr decide

          • tyhee

            It’s hard to imagine getting any further off-topic, but Biega is a candidate for Vegas even if he gets no more NHL games.

            Since he’s been a pro for more than two years he is available to be selected whether he makes it to 40 games this season or not and whether he makes it to 70 games between this season and last, or not.

            The only thing getting him a few more games will do is allow the Canucks, if they trade Sbisa or Gudbranson and protect the other, to use Biega to satisfy the rules requiring them to expose an NHL defenceman. Unless Biega is traded or protected, though, he will be available to the Knights.

        • DJ_44

          I think Juolevi does make the roster next year.

          Edler – Stecher
          Juolevi – Tanev
          Tryamkin – Gudbranson

          7th Hutton (or better yet, trade him while his value is high). This all assumes Sbisa goes to Vegas.

          • defenceman factory

            I hope you and apr are both not quite right on next years Dcorps because it means 2 things have probably happened. Benning has failed to make a significant trade for a top six forward prospect and Guddy has been signed to a big contract.

            I like Guddy but not at $4.5-$5 million for several years. Vancouver needs to acquire more of the next generation of top 6 forwards very soon. This likely requires trading Guddy, Edler or Tanev (in order of preference) for a player or high draft pick.

          • DJ_44

            I like Gudbranson at $4M for 4 or 5.

            As far as no trades…surely there is an analytics driven team that over-values a young defensive stud like Hutton as much as CA writers do.

    • Steampuck

      Nothing to worry about. The player takes team name rights with him. Charlottetown is now the Carl Neills. It was in his junior contract. You can look it up.

  • Smyl and Snepsts

    we are going to have a solid defense next year no matter who gets exposed to Las Vegas. I would rather have Juolevi spend a year down in Utica along with the other two graduating defensemen instead of getting rushed to the NHL. I think he will still need some seasoning and strengthening before taking on NHL forwards. Not putting him down at all as a pick. Defense is the hardest postion to play and we have enough now not to rush him.