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The Erie Otters have struggled through the 2006-07 season, winning a league-low nine games and accumulating just 21 points in 43 games. But judging by the NHL Central Scouting Sevice’s Mid-Term Rankings, the future should be much brighter for the Otters.

Four members of the Erie Otters were ranked on CS list, which was released this past week.

Forward Zack Torquato is No. 36 on the list. He was No. 13 among OHL skaters in Central Scouting’s preliminary league rankings back in November. Torquato is the Otters' leading scorer with 41 points in 39 games. The 17 year-old from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario is listed eighth among OHL players in the recent rankings.

Nick Palmieri, who sits at No. 43 in the latest Central Scouting rankings, saw his stock fall slightly because of an injury that has plagued him for much of the last month. Yet, he still has 29 points in 32 games.

Josh Kidd, ranked No. 49, is the top-rated defenseman from the OHL on the list. He already has eight goals and 19 points, both career highs, in 39 games this season. Finally, defenseman Anthony Peluso, at No. 154, breaks into the rankings after not making the cut back in November. He has three goals and six points in 25 games this season.

Having highly rated draft-eligible players is nothing new for the Otters. Since 1996, the Otters have had a total of 23 players selected at the NHL Entry Draft including eight players who were taken in the first round.

Plymouth made a huge move at the OHL’s trading deadline, plucking Dan Ryder from Peterborough in exchange for 17-year-old forward John Armstrong and three draft picks. That move came a day after Plymouth added Sean O’Connor from the Erie Otters -- in exchange for 17-year-old defenseman Frank Grzeszczak and a conditional draft choice -- and 19-year-old defenseman Steven Whitely from the Belleville Bulls for a future draft choice. Ryder scored 111 goals with 164 assists for 275 points in 225 career games with the Petes.

Kitchener honored Paul Coffey prior to Sunday’s game against Ottawa. Coffey, who scored 71 points in 52 games for the Rangers during the 1979-80 season, joined fellow Rangers alumni Larry Robinson and Bill Barber in The Aud rafters with their Hall of Fame banners.

After Sunday’s win against Brampton, Barrie is now a league-best 18-4-0-0 this season on the road.

Belleville forward Bryan Cameron was added Monday to the roster of Wednesday’s Top Prospects Game. Mississauga’s Stefan Legein and Kitchener’s Nick Spaling were also added to the event.

Aaron Snow had a goal and an assist against his old team, but Belleville still dropped a 4-2 decision Saturday to Brampton, ending the Bulls’ six-game home winning streak.

Guelph named over-age forward Mike McLean its Player of the Week.

This week, Guelph obtained defenseman Corey Syvret from London for defensemen Trevor Solomon, and a pair of draft picks. Syvret, a first-round OHL Priority Selection pick in 2005, had just two assists in 35 games this year.

Kingston added Jesse Biduke, 18, from Ottawa, in exchange for future considerations, at the trade deadline. Biduke will be a depth winger for the Frontenacs.

Over-age Peter Tsimikalis has been named as Kitchener’s new captain. Tsimikalis joined the team in December and has played in 12 games, scoring seven goals and 14 assists.

Oshawa picked up right winger Shea Kewin, 19, from Ottawa for a fourth-round draft pick in the 2007 OHL Priority Selection and forward Murray Free, 18, from Windsor in a cash transaction at this week’s trading deadline.

Ottawa acquired local boy Matthieu Methot, 19, from Barrie at the trade deadline.

Ottawa’s Jason Bailey has four goals, three assists and 19 penalty minutes in his first six OHL games after leaving the NCAA.

Marcus Carroll was named Owen Sound’s Player of the Week.

Over-age defenseman Kyle Raftis was named this week as the 47th captain in the history of Peterborough, replacing the recently traded Steve Downie.

Sarnia dealt goalie Sebastian Dahm to Sudbury in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2007 OHL Priority Selection and future considerations. A day later, the Sting used that pick to land over-age forward Craig Voakes from Windsor.

Sudbury also picked up high-scoring over-age forward Justin Donati at the trade deadline, sending Jesse Messier, Justin Vaive and two draft picks to St. Michael’s. The next day, Sudbury added defenseman Zach McCullough from London.
 
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