The Ontario Hockey League’s Kitchener Rangers own the OHL rights to Red Wings prospect Donovan Sebrango, who spent 31 games with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins this past season, but Kitchener chose to acquire a defenseman from the Sarnia Sting on Tuesday–because Kitchener believes that Sebrango, 19, will spend the upcoming season in the AHL.
The Kitchener Record’s Josh Brown explains why the Rangers are expecting to play without Sebrango’s services:
Normally, 19-year-old players who were drafted into the OHL, such as Sebrango, can only play junior or in the NHL at that age. But TSN’s Darren Dreger reported earlier this summer that a new agreement between the Canadian Hockey League and the American Hockey League was in the works that allows junior players to return to the AHL, if they played 20 or more games in the league last season.
Sebrango played 31 tilts for the Grand Rapids Griffins while the OHL was shutdown due to the pandemic.
Nothing official has been released on the reported CHL/AHL change, but the Rangers are moving forward as if it’s a done deal.
“We’re planning for life without him,” said [Rangers coach/GM Mike] McKenzie, adding that there is always a chance, albeit slim, that Sebrango gets sent back to Kitchener.
“It is what it is. As they say crap flows downhill. It’s just part of being in a development league. It’s nice to know that teams want our players and we have players that are good enough to make that jump. But it will definitely leave a big hole.”
Continued; Sebrango’s fate–be it as a member of the Griffins in the AHL, the Walleye in the ECHL, or the Rangers in the OHL–will probably be determined by his performance over the course of the Red Wings’ prospect tournament and main training camp, but most liquids do indeed flow downhill.