Everybody figured Brian Kilrea had something up his sleeve.
It turned out they were right.
The Ottawa 67's announced yesterday that defenceman Joe Grimaldi had left the University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks and joined the club for last night's 4-2 win over the St. Michael's Majors in Toronto.
Grimaldi made an immediate impact with a goal last night. The 67's also got goals from Thomas Kiriakou, Julian Talbot and Jamie McGinn.
Kilrea picked up the rights to the 19-year-old native of Long Island, N.Y., in a trade deadline deal on Tuesday with Windsor.
Originally, the trade required Ottawa to send a 14th-round pick in this year's OHL draft to Windsor if Grimaldi didn't report. But now that he's decided to quit university hockey, Ottawa will part with a sixth-round choice.
"All I know is that Jeff (67's owner Hunt) talked with the father (of Grimaldi) and worked things out for him to join us," said Kilrea.
Grimaldi was named to the Central Collegiate Hockey Association's all-rookie squad last year.
Kilrea said former Windsor GM Mike Kelly told him that Grimaldi, who plays a gritty style with an edge that reminds scouts of Chris Chelios, might become available.
"I hear he works hard, he's good in his own end and he's good on the power play," said Kilrea.
Meanwhile, 67's defenceman Derek Joslin was selected to play at next month's Bell OHL All-Star Classic in Belleville.
DOWNIE OUT: OHL commissioner Dave Branch suspended Peterborough forward Steve Downie, a key member of Canada's world junior championship team, following an incident during a game against Belleville Wednesday. Downie threw a series of punches at Belleville's Andrew Gibbons.
IN THE CREASE: Ottawa D Robbie Lawrance sat out last night's game against St. Michael's. Kilrea said the fourth-year veteran will miss weekend's games in Saginaw and Plymouth, but will likely return to action next week ... Also named to the OHL all-star teams yesterday were Ottawa-area players Michael Blunden (Erie), Benoit Pouliot (Sudbury) and goalie Kevin Lalande (Belleville). Ex-67's centre Peter Tsimikalis was also selected.