Things may not have ended the way they’d hoped, but the Soo Greyhounds’ veteran presence was integral in what came down to a tightly fought battle for eighth place in the Western Conference.
The Hounds say goodbye to veteran forward Jaden Peca and 20-year-old netminder Bailey Brkin, who undoubtedly provided an added level of spark on a relatively young squad.
Bailey Brkin (Soo – 2019-20)
His road to the OHL was ultimately a unique one, but overager Bailey Brkin capped off his junior hockey career as a viable goaltending option with the Greyhounds. The native of Sherwood Park, Alta. stood in net for 31 appearances, posting a 17-8-2-1 record with a .885 save percentage and 3.37 goals-against average. Brkin landed a spot minding nets in the OHL following stints with the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos, Kootenay Ice and Spokane Chiefs.
Jaden Peca (Barrie, Soo – 2016-20)
Fourth-year winger Jaden Peca prepares for the next step in his career having put up 134 points (44-90—134) over 244 OHL contests. An original draft pick of the Barrie Colts in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection, Peca would be dealt to the Hounds midway through the 2018-19 season. He played 89 games with the Hounds, was good for 43 points (15-28—43) over his final 63 appearances in the red and white and notably recorded 13 points (3-10–13) over 10 playoff games in 2019. The Woodbridge, Ont. native put forth an impressive performance in his sophomore season with the Colts when he registered 47 points (16-31—47); a steep jump from his rookie campaign’s seven-point (1-6—7) output. Peca was extended an invite to the Arizona Coyotes’ development camp in 2018 and departs from the league a free agent.
The Greyhounds also feature two 2000-born players in leading scorer Zack Trott and Montreal Canadiens prospect Jacob LeGuerrier.
The 2019-20 OHL season came to a sudden end on Thursday, March 12th, with play suspended and the remainder of the playing season cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Sadly, many of the League’s overage and graduating players never had the chance to enjoy a proper send-off from their home fans. The 2020 Graduating Class series takes a look at the OHL tenure of each team’s overage players while also recognizing other potential graduates.