As the 2016-17 season grows closer, Zach Grzelewski of the Flint Firebirds – one of a handful of players who had stuck around after a disastrous season this past year – is yet another player who will be heading elsewhere for his upcoming campaign.
The 19-year-old forward, who joined Flint last fall after playing his 2014-15 campaign with the London Knights, has seen his rights dealt to the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs. He’ll hop on with the Sea Dogs, per the Chronical Journal, in hopes of playing a prominent role with the major junior club next year:
“Zach has been a high-scoring forward through minor hockey up to junior A,” stated Sea Dogs head coach Danny Flynn. “He was one of Flint’s top scorers despite missing some time last year. We think he has the potential to be a top-six forward for us.”
A native of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Grzelewski put up eight goals and 23 points in 56 regular season games last season. That was good for seventh in scoring on the Firebirds, despite holding 12 games in hand on the season – for Saint John, this is a move that will hopefully help the team offensively this fall.
For Flint, though, it’s far from good news.
The OHL club has seen one of their only remaining NHL prospects request a trade out of the organization, as Will Bitten (a 2016 third round pick of the Montreal Canadiens) reportedly wants to move and play with his brother in Ottawa. After losing a slew of draft picks and plenty of money via fines, as well, the major junior club is struggling – and losing yet another scoring forward should only continue to hurt them.