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Bulls acquire draft picks in exchange for Heffernan

Chad Heffernan, 18, was traded by the Bulls to Sudbury on Tuesday. Photo by Belleville Bulls.

Chad Heffernan, 18, was traded by the Belleville Bulls to Sudbury on Tuesday. Photo by Belleville Bulls.

By Bevan Hamilton [1]

BELLEVILLE – The Belleville Bulls made a minor trade on Tuesday, sending 18-year-old centre Chad Heffernan [2] and a draft pick to the Sudbury Wolves [3] in exchange for two draft picks.

The Bulls sent the Wolves a 2017 12th-round pick and acquired a 4th-round pick in 2015 and a 7th-round pick in 2016.

Bulls’ General Manager and Coach George Burnett said the team made the trade because of the number of forwards Belleville has on its roster.

“Our numbers are a little off right now with forwards and defencemen. We have 15 forwards and only 6 defencemen here right now. It’s probably not a situation we want to be in having three extra forwards sit out,” Burnett told QNetNews in an interview on Tuesday.

Burnett said the move will make it easier to keep the team happy, because it will give more forwards a chance to play every game. The coach said the deal benefits both the Bulls and Heffernan.

“We’ve had some general discussions (with Heffernan) and this was an opportunity that presented itself. (Heffernan) was full-on to have a new opportunity.”

Burnett praised Heffernan’s play with Belleville, but said the smaller ice surface in Sudbury will benefit Heffernan’s style of play.

Heffernan is known as a gritty forward who doesn’t score often. He is fourth in the OHL [4] in penalty minutes with 57, but he has just 8 points in 23 games this season.  Heffernan also led Belleville in penalty minutes last season with 94 in 53 games.

The Bulls drafted the Peterborough native in 2012 and he recorded 28 points in 118 games for the Bulls in parts of three seasons.

Heffernan’s step-father is Steve Larmer, who played 13 productive seasons in the NHL [5] with the Chicago Blackhawks and New York Rangers. Heffernan is undrafted in the NHL, although he was eligible for the first time this season.