Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Whalers deal for O'Connor, Whitely

The Plymouth Whalers announced the acquisition of 19-year-old right wing/center Sean O’Connor from the Erie Otters in exchange for 17-year-old defenseman Frank Grzeszczak.

O’Connor (pictured) grew up in Trenton and his family currently resides in Brownstown. O’Connor joins three other Plymouth players with local ties – goaltender Jeremy Smith (Brownstown), Ryan McGinnis (Fenton) and AJ Jenks (Wolverine Lake).

O’Connor was selected by Erie in the second round (24th overall) of the 2003 Ontario Hockey League Draft.

Now playing his fourth season in the league, O’Connor’s best season with Erie was last year when he scored 19 goals and 38 assists for 56 points and 81 PIM’s in 68 games. O’Connor missed most of the first half of this season with a shoulder injury, but has come back recently and has 8 goals with 17 assists for 25 points in 20 games.

O’Connor has scored 49 goals with 97 assists for 146 assists and 208 PIM’s in 223 games in Erie.
Grzeszczak (above) was selected by Plymouth in the 11th round (209th overall) of the 2005 OHL Draft. Playing in his first season this year with Plymouth, Grzeszczak has one goal with seven assists for eight points and 32 PIM’s.

In another deal, Plymouth acquired 19-year-old defenseman Steven Whitely from the Belleville Bulls for a future fifth round draft choice. Whitely was originally drafted by Toronto in the 14th round (274th overall) and has played for Toronto, Saginaw and Belleville in his career. A stay-at-home defenseman, Whitely had six assists in 35 games this year with Belleville.

O’Connor and Whitely are expected to be in the lineup for the Whalers this weekend. Plymouth (in first place in the OHL West with a record of 26-11-1-2) plays in Saginaw (third place, OHL West, 25-13-0-2) on Friday before returning home to host Windsor on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. at the Compuware Sports Arena.

O'Connor photo courtesy Erie Otters/Jim Cooper, Grzeszczak photo courtesy Walt Dmoch/Plymouth Whalers

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