Hamilton Acquires William Bitten
The Hamilton Bulldogs have traded starting goalie Connor Hicks and rookie defensemen (converted to forward) Fedor Gordeev to the Flint Firebirds in exchange for William Bitten. Bitten was drafted in the third round (#70) by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. Hamilton also sends two 2nd round picks and receives a 12th round pick in the trade.
“William is the type of player that the Hamilton Bulldogs covet. He will provide us with speed, skill and work ethic. He will be an integral piece of our hockey club moving forward.” – Steve Staios, Sept. 28th, 2016
I wrote about the potential for a trade between Hamilton and Flint on June 6th, just after Staios hired Gruden as head coach. Former GM George Burnett was recently installed as the General Manager of the Firebirds by the OHL. It was a trade that made sense as he has incredible insight in the abilities of the Bulldogs roster players and prospects.
Bitten has a history of being a winning player throughout his hockey career (most points in the OHL Cup, Gold Medal for Canada at the Ivan Hlinka). With his two years of OHL eligibility remaining (with an over-age option) Staios has elevated the team to “win-now” mode. This increases the credibility of Hamilton’s Memorial Cup application for the 2018 centennial celebration.
Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst – “Bitten dealt with a ton of adversity while serving as Flint’s captain and leader during its chaotic inaugural OHL season. To say Bitten carries his team is an understatement; he’s scored 30 goals on the team who averages under three goals a game. But there’s more to his game than offense, as he’s used in all situations and serves as Flint’s top option for both the power play and the penalty kill” (Source).
Feature Image: Jake May / MLive.com