Belleville Bolsters Forward Depth With Fyten
In a season full of roster moves, the American Hockey League's trade/loan deadline wouldn't pass quietly for an organization that hasn't been shy about revamping their AHL roster via the trade route.
Just before Monday's 3 p.m. deadline struck, the Belleville Senators sent 25-year-old defenceman and alternate captain, Stuart Percy to the Providence Bruins; in return, Belleville received forward Austin Fyten. Both players find themselves in the final year of their respective AHL deals.
Fyten Bolsters Forward Depth
"The thought process was to have 15 healthy forwards and eight defencemen, here down the stretch for the last six weeks of the season," said Belleville Senators' head coach Troy Mann of Monday's trade.
Fyten, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound centre has tallied nine points (three goals) in 45 AHL games with the Providence Bruins this season.
"We wanted to get another forward that was capable of playing on that fourth line," noted Mann on the acquisition of Fyten.
Stylistically described as a physical two-way centreman, who contributes on the penalty kill, Fyten is projected to slot into Belleville's bottom-six when available.
"He's a fourth line energy guy that can play all three forward positions, can help on the penalty kill, great locker room guy," said Mann in a video, posted on Belleville Senators twitter account on the projected role of Fyten.
A seven-year pro, he brings a wealth of experience to the club, having appeared in 274 career American Hockey League games with Oklahoma City, Lehigh Valley, Hershey, Texas and Providence, registering 65 points (23 goals) and 307 penalty minutes.
The Sundre, Alberta native is also no stranger to post-season play, notching five points in 11 post-season games a year ago, helping the Texas Stars reach the Calder Cup Finals.
Fans in the Friendly City will have to wait to see the 27-year-old, who has been listed as unavailable for this weekend’s doubleheader (Thursday and Friday) in Cleveland with a minor upper-body injury.
Percy Moves to Providence
Unable to find consistent playing time for the Oakville native, due to an abundance of depth on defence, Belleville elected to move the steady blue-liner.
Acquired via free agency this summer, Percy,25, appeared in 41 games with Belleville, adding 19 points, while being a key member of the team's leadership group.
"He's a great human being and a guy I enjoyed coaching,"said Mann of the departing defenceman.
With defenders, Jeremy Lauzon, Kyle Cumiskey & Chris Breen all on sick-bay, Stuart Percy fills a need for a Providence squad, who currently holds the Atlantic Division's fourth and final playoff berth, sitting five points ahead of both the challenging Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
The Playoff Push Continues
Currently riding a 17 game point streak (12-0-1-4), Belleville has found life and now sit tied with Utica at 67 points apiece for the North Division’s final playoff position. The Comets still hold one game in hand. The Senators have 16 games remaining on their schedule, beginning Thursday night in Cleveland.
Looking to break the cycle, Ottawa's American Hockey League affiliates have missed the post-season in four consecutive seasons starting in 2014-15.