Landon Ferraro’s time with the Red Deer Rebels is over.
The Western Hockey League club shipped the 19-year-old centre and a conditional 2012 draft pick to the Everett Silvertips Monday in exchange for Byron Froese and a third round pick in the 2012 bantam draft.
“It was a situation where we felt it was time for Landon to move on and we were able to get a player coming back our way that’s going to help us in the upcoming season,” said Jesse Wallin, Rebels head coach and vice president of hockey operations,.
“That was an important part of this trade. It was a process that we’ve kind of been going through since April, since our season ended. It was a situation where a lot of teams where involved but the key aspect for us was getting back someone who could help us immediately.
“We’re not in a situation where we want to give up a player like Ferraro for younger players or prospects or draft picks,” added Wallin. “We felt we needed someone who could step in and kind of fill his role, and at the same time we were able to get a significant draft pick that does give us an asset for the future as well.”
After being drafted second overall by the Rebels in the 2006 bantam draft, Ferraro posted a career best 37 goals and 55 points in the 2008-2009 campaign.
But a knee injury in training camp last year caused him to miss parts of the season and he struggled to put up 16 goals in 53 games.
The Detroit Red Wings prospect was also held pointless in three post season games against the Saskatoon Blades, and ended up being a healthy scratch for the final game of the four game sweep.
That was followed up by a recent article in the Detroit Free Press where Ferraro, who was attending Red Wings prospects camp at the time, blamed his poor season on his knee injury and hinted that a return to Red Deer wasn’t in the cards.
“Landon hasn’t hid the fact that he wasn’t happy here and at the end of the day we weren’t happy any longer either,” said Wallin.
“But there were certainly a number of issues that had come up prior to that and it all sort of culminated at the end of the year” added the coach. “At the end of the day, in order to move forward, we need 23 guys who are committed to being here and want to move forward and are committed to the journey of the group as a whole and that’s got to be the priority. That wasn’t the case in this situation and when it comes to that point, it’s time for a change.”
Coming to Red Deer is the 19-year-old Froese, a right handed centre who has played his entire WHL career with Everett, tallying 48 goals and 118 points in 142 games.
“Byron’s a guy that has the proven ability to score at this level,” said Wallin of the Winkler, Manitoba native.
“Landon is more a game breaking type player but Byron is an offensive contributor, but can play in a lot of different situations. He’s a very good penalty killer, he’s played the point on the power play in the past, and he’s a bit more a playmaker.
“He’s a different type of player, yet I think he’s going to fit in very well in our group. He’s got tremendous leadership abilities, and all the people I’ve talked to that know him say he’s just a fantastic kid,” said Wallin. “He’s the type of guy that could be the captain of your team. I think he’s going to fit in very well in our dressing room and be a very good player for us and we’re certainly excited to get him.”