Knights begin roster shuffle

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 10:36 AM ET

PETERBOROUGH -- With OHL trade winds swirling, folks in Peterborough have resigned themselves to the thought they have seen Steve Downie and Daniel Ryder play for the Petes for the final time.

Downie, who will play for Canada in the world junior gold medal final today in Sweden and Ryder, who served the eighth of a 10-game suspension last night for bumping into an official, are two names that have been bandied about in an environment GMs figure will make for a busy trade season this year.

London is well aware there is danger in staying pat and not making any major moves -- especially if division rivals like Kitchener and Owen Sound are able to swing something.

"Nothing's going on with us right now," tight-lipped Knights GM Mark Hunter said before his team faced the Petes last night.

The Knights did make a couple of moves, including adding Londoner Justin Taylor, who picked up his first OHL point on his second shift last night.

The team also dumped import forward Adam Hasani to the Erie Otters in exchange for a 15th-round pick. The 17-year-old native of Freibourg, Switzerland, had scored just once in 25 games in his rookie season.

That frees up an import spot if the Knights want to dabble in the overseas market. There is little chance of Sergei Kostitsyn, currently with Belarus at the world juniors in Sweden, returning to London next year so both import spots could be available next season.

That's the year the Knights see themselves as major contenders for another Memorial Cup appearance and if they keep adding players who produce immediately like Taylor, why not go for it?

Taylor, a 17-year-old former London Junior Knight, played minor hockey with fellow OHLers Drew Doughty and Jordan Skellett and had been a top-20 scorer in Tier II with the Wellington Dukes, who are coached by former Knights head scout Marty Abrams.

"I went to Kingston's camp as a 16-year-old but it just wasn't a fit for me at that time," Taylor said. "I'm excited to be in London and to have a chance to play with this team."


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