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Wolves add Spirit to line-up

Three Saginaw Spirit players will join the Wolves roster as the Sudbury team sends forward John McFarland and defenceman Ben Chiarot to Saginaw, following a trade Dec. 9.
Sudbury Wolves assistant captains John McFarland and Ben Chiarot have been traded to the Saginaw Spirit. In return, three Spirit players will join the Wolves' roster. Photos by
Three Saginaw Spirit players will join the Wolves roster as the Sudbury team sends forward John McFarland and defenceman Ben Chiarot to Saginaw, following a trade Dec. 9.

The Wolves also sent a third-round draft selection in 2011 to the Spirit and Sudbury received a fourth-round draft pick in 2011 from the Spirit to complete the trade.

Spirit forwards Michael Sgarbossa, 18, and Alex Racino, 17, and defenceman Frank Schumacher, 17, will suit up with the Wolves for tonight's (Dec. 10) game against the Niagara IceDogs at the Sudbury Arena at 7:30 p.m.

Sgarbossa was signed by the San Jose Sharks as a free agent this summer. The Campbellville native has recorded 20 points in 26 games this season and has added 24 minutes in penalties. Sgarbossa centred the Spirit’s top lines and played on the power play as well. He also played for Team Canada in the 2009 U18 Championships. Sgarbossa was selected in the third round, 54th overall, in the 2008 OHL Draft by the Barrie Colts.

Racino, 17, is a native of Merrill, Wisconsin. The left-winger was acquired by the Spirit as a free agent after being one of Team USA’s top forwards at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial U18 Championship in the Czech Republic in August. Racino has played 17 games for the Spirit and has recorded three goals and one assist with a +6 rating. He is eligible for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and is a highly-regarded forward by NHL scouts.

Schumacher is a smooth-skating physical defenceman who competes hard, a press release stated. A native of Brighton, Michigan, Schumacher was drafted in the seventh round of the 2009 OHL Entry Draft. Now fully recovered from an early season knee injury, Schumacher has played in eight games and has recorded one assist and a +4 rating. Schumacher will not be eligible for the NHL Entry draft until 2012.

McFarland, 18, completed his 2.5 year-career with the Wolves after being selected first-overall in the 2008 OHL Entry Draft. The Toronto native has missed a number of games this season due to injury and was set to return to the line-up this weekend. McFarland is hoping to sign a pro contract with the Florida Panthers soon and is looking forward to a fresh start with the Spirit, the release stated.

Chiarot, 19, was with the Wolves for less than a year after being acquired by the team from the Guelph Storm last January. The Hamilton native has been drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers and is looking to sign a pro contract with the Thrashers in 2011.

“We are really excited about the young players that we have acquired today,” Wolves’ GM Blaine Smith said. “We have added more young skill to our line-up as we continue to build our team for greater success in the second-half of this season and next. In order to acquire good players, you have to give-up good players and John and Ben have been excellent players for us and we wish them well as they conclude their OHL careers in Saginaw.”

Along with the three new players, the Wolves welcome 20-year-old veteran forward Eric O’Dell back to the lineup for Friday night's game. O'Dell has received clearance from his doctors to begin playing hockey once again. The Ottawa native and Atlanta Thrasher draft pick can hardly wait to join his Sudbury teammates since undergoing off-season heart surgery, the press release stated. O’Dell has led the Wolves in scoring over the past two seasons including 33 goals and 68 points in 68 games last year.