Flying Aces pick up trio of players from Youngstown in trade

Central Illinois also acquires draft pick in separate deal with Sioux Falls

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — The Central Illinois Flying Aces executed on Wednesday a trade with the Youngstown Phantoms that involved five players, two affiliate list players and a pair of draft picks.

Tuesday was the date of the USA Hockey trade and drop deadline, as the Flying Aces acquired defensemen Zach Metsa and Andrew Petrillo and forward Alex Barber in exchange for defensemen Mike Callahan and Jason Smallidge, a deal that was finalized on Wednesday.

Metsa, a 5-foot-9, 186-pound defenseman, is in his first full season in the United States Hockey League. The Quinnipiac University commit has played in all 37 of Youngstown’s games this season and is tied for the team’s lead in scoring among rear guards with 13 points. Metsa earned the USHL Defenseman of the Week honor on Oct. 16.

Another defenseman, Petrillo brings two seasons of USHL experience to the Flying Aces defensive corps. A University of Vermont commit, Petrillo has seen ice time in 36 games this season for Youngstown and has tabbed nine points on a goal and eight assists. The 5-foot-10, 183-pound right-handed shot recorded three points last season in 27 games with the Phantoms.

Barber, a native of Dublin, Ohio, will help bolster Central Illinois’ offensive depth. A 5-foot-9, 159-pound center, Barber has recorded seven points on three goals and four assists in 32 games this season with the Phantoms. The Bowling Green State University commit is a 1999-born player and still has two more seasons of eligibility in the USHL after this season. Barber will play off of the Flying Aces’ affiliate list.

In addition to acquiring three players, the Flying Aces also received a first-round pick in the 2018 USHL Phase II Draft from the Phantoms in return for Central Illinois second-round pick in the 2018 USHL Phase II Draft. The two teams also swapped affiliates in the transaction, with Central Illinois trading affiliate forward Gabriel Malek and receiving Youngstown affiliate defenseman Brandon Cimino.

Central Illinois also made a separate transaction on the day of the USA Hockey trade and drop deadline, sending forward Griffin Lunn to the Sioux Falls Stampede in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2018 USHL Phase II Draft.

The USHL’s trade deadline is on Feb. 26, and only one-to-one deals can be made until that date.

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