The Kingston Frontenacs have jumped feet first into the rebuilding phase with three new young additions to the lineup with the start of the ’18-19 campaign just around the corner.
The first trade sees 17 year-old Dennis Golovatchev come over from the Guelph Storm in exchange for a 3rd round pick in the 2021 Draft (ERE). Originally a third round draft pick himself, selected by Guelph in 2017 draft #55 overall, Golovatchev comes to Kingston after a full season in the OJHL with the Burlington Cougars.
Golovatchev first gained notoriety back in 2017 as a member of the OHL Cup Champion Mississauga Reps. On a team featuring future OHLers Igor Chibrikov, Liam Ross, Jamieson Rees, and Mike Petizian, Golovatchev registered three goals in the tournament, including the championship winner in the final minute of the OHL Cup final.
His skating was a big part of his intrigue leading up to the draft, and it’s still what Darren Keily and the Frontenacs are still most impressed by in Golovatchev’s game.
In his rookie season with the OJHL’s Burlington Cougars, Golovatchev posted nine goals and 20 points in 40 games. Although the numbers don’t stick out, the Frontenacs believe he has the composition of a future top six forward in the OHL.
After suiting up for two games with the Trenton Golden Hawks this season, he will join Kingston and be in the lineup on opening night against Peterborough for his first career OHL game.
Cameron Hough comes to the Frontenacs after splitting his last season between the Sarnia Sting and the Sarnia Legionnaires of the GOJHL in exchange for an 11th round pick in 2021.
A product of the Vaughan Kings Minor Midget AAA program, Hough was selected 257th overall in the 13th round of the 2016 OHL Priority Selection. Hough would later break into the OHL with Sarnia in 2016-17 for 12 games after spending the majority of his season with the Toronto Jr. Canadians in the GTHL. Hough would later see ice time with Sarnia in ’17-18, dressing for 16 games, potting two goals and adding an assist.
While with the Legionnaires, Hough saw increased offensive production with 13 points in 15 games, but was held off the scoresheet in all five playoff games.
Hough hit the ice for three preseason games with Sarnia before the trade to Kingston where he’ll join the team for opening night on September 20th.
The most tenured in the OHL of the three acquisitions, Dawson Baker comes to Kingston with 71 games already under his belt as a member of the Sudbury Wolves.
Drafted by Sudbury 63rd overall in the 4th round of the 2016 OHL Priority Selection, Baker is a product of the Quinte Red Devils. Following an OHL Cup appearance where he led his team with seven points, Baker jumped into the OJHL the following season with the Trenton Golden Hawks. With Trenton, Baker provided steady offence and a two-way game for a Golden Hawks team that went all the way to the RBC Cup. That season also saw Baker break into the OHL with Sudbury for 10 games and represent Team Canada Black at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
In the ’17-18 season, Baker played 61 games for the Wolves, adding six goals and 13 points in the process. Baker has sat out the entire preseason in 2018 recovering from mono, but has been medically cleared and was skating with the Trenton Golden Hawks.
Now on his way to Kingston, the Frontenacs acquire Baker in exchange for a 5th round pick in 2019 (SBY), as well as a conditional 6th round pick in 2023 (KGN). The condition is based on whether or not Baker plays as an overage.
All three moves fit well into Kingston’s game plan this season, which is to rebuild from the ground up. All three players are relatively low risk, but provide enough upside to have a potential impact on a nightly basis in the OHL. Hough projects to be a power forward who brings size to the lineup, and any added offence at the OHL level would be a bonus. Golovatchev is still receiving praise on his skating abilities, but needs to put all the tools together to put up numbers, and he’s also yet to play a competitive OHL game. Baker has the advantage of experience over the two and has played a lot of hockey in the last two seasons or so. He brings a high level of compete to Kingston and will start off as a two-way forward who will become part of their penalty kill right away. Of the three, Baker will have the biggest impact off the bat.
The common denominator with all three players is they’re young, and for one reason or another, were having trouble breaking through with their draft team. After having expended so much to make a run last season, Kingston needs to get creative in order to ensure a rebuild doesn’t drag on for too long. Trading away more draft picks may not be ideal, but if even one of these players turns out as their potential indicates, it’ll be worth it. All three of Hough, Baker, and Golovatchev will be given ample opportunity to show they can stick around for the long run in Kingston.