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Phantoms make swap with Omaha

Youngstown receives D Andrew Centrella, affliate player Braiden Clark and a 2022 5th round Phase I pick

YOUNGSTOWN — The Youngstown Phantoms made a swap Wednesday afternoon, acquiring some youth in defenseman Andrew Centrella, affiliate player Braiden Clark and a 2022 5th round Phase I pick in a deal with the Omaha Lancers.

It was a 3-for-3 swap as the Phantoms sent forward Morgan Winters, defenseman Chris Hedden, and a 2022 Phase I 7th round pick to the Lancers in exchange.

“First and foremost, we would like to thank Morgan Winters and Chris Hedden for their time in Youngstown,” Co-GM, Ryan Kosecki said in a press release. “We wish them nothing but the best of luck moving forward with the Omaha Lancers.”

Centrella, is a “smart, agile, puck-moving defenseman” as described by Phantoms coach Brad Patterson. The 5-foot-9, left-handed defenseman, spent last season with the Northwood Prep School team in New York. He finished the year with 1 goal and 13 assists for 14 points in 29 games.

He briefly spent time with the Lancers last season, recording three assists in four games with Omaha. This season, Centrella had five assists in 12 games with the Lancers. He is committed to Providence College.

“Andrew’s Hockey IQ and skill set will immediately help our transition game and solidify our D- core,” Patterson said.

Described as a “strong 200-foot player that has the ability to play in all facets of the game” by Patterson, Clark is a 6-foot left-handed forward who is currently playing with the Columbus Jr. Blue Jackets. Clark has 15 assists and six goals so far this season and is a Providence College commit as well.

Clark, a 2005-born forward, played in Omaha’s first game of the season, recording an assist against Cedar Rapids at the USHL Fall Classic. The game was also his USHL debut.

The Upper Arlington native is the son of former NHLer Chris Clark, a 1994 Draft selection by the Calgary Flames.

The elder Clark played over 600 games at the NHL level and finished his career with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Patterson is optimistic about Clark, mentioning while he won’t be on the team immediately, expects him to make an impact soon.

“In Braiden, we believe he has all the tools to be a significant piece of our future,” Patterson said. Both players should see time in purple and orange jerseys this season.

“In regards to Andrew Centrella, we are so excited to be adding him to our team in Youngstown,” Kosecki said. “Andrew is a smart, competitive, and strong puck-moving defenseman who skates well. In Braiden Clark we are getting a big, young kid, who is a smart hockey player that plays a strong 200-ft game and is a very mature player for his age. Most importantly, both kids are great people who fit the culture and style we are building in Youngstown.”

Winters had racked up eight points (3 goals, 5 assists) in 12 games this year with the team. Chris Hedden had played 15 games on the backend for the Phantoms this season.

The Phantoms spend the entire month of December on the road, starting with a series against Green Bay on Friday and Saturday in Rochester, New York. They don’t return home for a game at the Covelli Centre until January 7 with a two-game series against Cedar Rapids.

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