Huge trade for the Blizzard involving Brock McLeod and Keenan Gillis

EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – The Edmundston Blizzard made a huge move by acquiring star player Brock McLeod, 20 from Dartmouth, of the Valley Wildcats, who played last season with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

In return, the Blizzard gave Valley veteran defenseman Keenan Gillis, 20, and prospects Brant King, a defenseman who turns 18 in September, and Joseph Merriam, a 16-year-old forward. The four players involved in this mega deal are from Nova Scotia.

Blizzard general manager Steve MacPherson says McLeod, a 6’0, 180-pound forward, will be one of the league’s top players next season. In 58 games with the Halifax Mooseheads, he scored 5 goals and added 12 assists with just 12 penalty minutes. Blizzard fans will likely recognize him as the Valley Wildcats’ star player during the 2017-18 campaign, when he finished 8th in the Maritime Junior A League scoring with 17 goals and 42 assists in 49 games.

He became a sharp player after a season in Halifax which hosted the Memorial Cup championship last spring. His leadership on and off the ice, his experience, and his offensive skills will certainly add spice to the Jean-Daigle Centre starting next month.

McLeod was a 4th round pick (66th overall) of the Sherbrooke Phoenix of the QMJHL in June 2015 draft. A week later, he was selected in the 2nd round (22nd overall) by the Pictou County Weeks Crushers of the MHL.

Gillis has rendered precious services to the Blizzard. In two seasons with Edmundston, he has not missed a game, playing in all 122 games including the playoffs. In both regular seasons, he had 7 points in 50 games in 2017-18 and 27 points in 50 games in 2018-19. Gillis was the first-round pick of the Weeks Crushers in the 2016 MHL draft and 7th overall.

King played with the Halifax McDonald’s Midget AAA last season, tallying 23 points in 32 games. He donned the Blizzard uniform during one game. King was the Blizzard’s 3rd round selection (36th overall) in the 2018 draft. Merriam, meanwhile, played last season with the Cole Harbour Wolfpack, scoring 14 points in 34 games. He was the Blizzard’s 2nd round pick (24th overall) in the MHL June draft in Edmundston.

Photo: Brock McLeod (Photo from Facebook)

Contact: Hugues Chiasson, Edmundston Blizzard vice-president communications; (506) 740-0623 – cell phone