YOUNGSTOWN – The Youngstown Phantoms traded on Wednesday afternoon, acquiring youngsters with defenseman Andrew Centrella, affiliate Braiden Clark and a Phase I 5th round pick in 2022 in a deal with the Lancers from Omaha.
It was a 3-to-3 trade as the Phantoms sent forward Morgan Winters, defenseman Chris Hedden and a 2022 Phase I 7th round pick to the Lancers in exchange.
“First and foremost, we would like to thank Morgan Winters and Chris Hedden for their time in Youngstown,” Co-Managing Director Ryan Kosecki said in a press release. “We wish them the best of luck moving forward with the Omaha Lancers.”
Centrella is a “smart, agile, puck-moving defenseman,” as Phantoms coach Brad Patterson describes. The 5-foot-9 left-handed defenseman spent last season with the Northwood Prep School team in New York. He finished the year with 1 goal and 13 assists for 14 points in 29 games.
He briefly spent time with the Lancers last season, registering three assists in four games for Omaha. This season, Centrella has collected five assists in 12 games with the Lancers. He enlisted at Providence College.
“Andrew’s IQ and hockey skills will immediately help our transition game and solidify our D-core,” said Patterson.
Described as a “200-foot strong player who has the ability to play in all facets of the game” by Patterson, Clark is a 6-foot left-handed forward who currently plays for the Columbus Jr. Blue Jackets. Clark has 15 assists and six goals so far this season and is also a commitment from Providence College.
Clark, a forward born in 2005, played in Omaha’s season opener, registering an assist against Cedar Rapids in the USHL Fall Classic. The match was also his debut in the USHL.
The Upper Arlington native is the son of former NHL player Chris Clark, a 1994 draft pick by the Calgary Flames.
Elder Clark has played over 600 NHL games and ended his career with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Patterson is optimistic about Clark, mentioning that he won’t be on the team immediately, expects him to make an impact soon.
“At Braiden, we believe he has all the tools to be an important part of our future,” Patterson said. Both players should see the weather in purple and orange shirts this season.
“As for Andrew Centrella, we are delighted to add him to our team at Youngstown,” said Kosecki. “Andrew is a smart, competitive and strong defenseman who moves the puck and skates well. At Braiden Clark we welcome a tall and young boy, who is a smart hockey player who plays a solid 200-foot game and who is a very mature player for his age. Most importantly, both kids are great people who fit the culture and style we are building in Youngstown. “
Winters had eight points (3 goals, 5 assists) in 12 games this year with the team. Chris Hedden had played 15 games in the Phantoms backend this season.
The Phantoms spend the entire month of December on the road, starting with a streak against Green Bay on Friday and Saturday in Rochester, New York. They don’t come home for a game at the Covelli Center until Jan. 7 with a two-game streak against Cedar Rapids.