On Wednesday morning, the Peterborough Petes announced a trade involving Saginaw Spirit forward Max Grondin coming to Peterborough in exchange for a 3rd round pick in 2020 and a 2nd round pick in 2024.
Grondin comes to Peterborough as a product of the Vaughan Kings minor midget program from 2015-16. A teammates of current OHLers Cameron Hough, Giovanni Vallati, and Phil Caron, Grondin was selected 37th overall in the second round of the 2016 OHL Priority Selection by Saginaw. In his rookie season, Grondin posted modest numbers with six goals and 11 points, but dressed for all 68 games in a season where Saginaw did not qualify for the postseason.
The following season saw Grondin return to Saginaw to improve to the tune of 11 goals and 27 points. In the playoffs, he recorded three points in a four game sweep at the hands of Sault Ste. Marie which included a goal in game three at home. The ’17-18 season also saw Grondin establish himself as an effective face-off taker, with 364 face-off wins, ranking second on Saginaw.
Grondin is off to a slow start in 2018-19, having had to wait 11 games to add his first goal, which he did on October 20th against Flint. After 13 games with the Spirit, he now joins Peterborough as an 18 year-old with 147 career games to his credit in the OHL.
This is somewhat of a risky trade for Peterborough, but Grondin still helps the organization in a lot of ways immediately. With Zach Gallant done until January at the earliest, Peterborough’s depth up the middle takes a serious hit. Grondin plugs that hole for now, and comes over as an above average face-off taker in the OHL with a nice 57.3% on the season. The risk in all of this is Grondin not finding ways to produce for Peterborough. He’s a player who got serious looks from NHL scouts last year because he has some offensive tools, plus he’s a big kid at 6-foot-4. Whether or not he adds point production for Peterborough is a question, but Peterborough might be happy either way if he continues to be an asset on face-offs for a team already among the OHL’s best in that regard, and he adds size to their forward unit (which they are also currently lacking with John Parker-Jones injured).
For Saginaw, this frees up space up front for some of the younger players to see action. This is a team with a bunch of budding potential, and the extra ice-time can go a long way in helping along some players they hope to be real factors both this year and for seasons to come.