By Ian Shalapata
(WINDSOR, ON) – The Windsor Spitfires announced today the signing of newly acquired Luke Kirwan. The 6’ 2”, 220 lb left winger was picked up from the Guelph Storm last month in exchange for a couple of second round draft choices, one each in 2018 and 2019.
Kirwan was selected in the second round of the 2013 OHL Priority Draft by the Storm. It was originally speculated that he would be sent to Windsor as part of the deal that saw Kerby Rychel and Nick Ebert end up in Guelph. The Ontario Hockey League does not allow future consideration trades and Spitfires General Manager Warren Rychel reiterated today that the two were separate transactions.
“This obviously had nothing to do with the Guelph trade,” Rychel said. “I think the bottom line is getting good players and we have to get good
players back. That was the sacrifice we made trading Kerby and Nick.”
A native of Syracuse, NY, Kirwan played the last two years with the United States National Under-17 team. He scored 29 goals and 28 assists in 54 games. Rychel is looking for Kirwan to continue the scoring in Windsor.
“He gives us a top line threat to score goals,” he said. “I think, looking at our top nine players, we’re pretty deep now. We’re up there with the league leaders in depth, so we’re getting better.”
Windsor’s Head Coach Bob Boughner echoes the high expectations for Kirwan.
“We haven’t had a guy like this for a while,” said Boughner. “He’s a power forward with skill. He’s a heavy guy to play against. He’ll be a huge in front of the net presence and instantly makes our line-up more skilled.”
Kirwan indicated that he came to Windsor a year before his eligibility for the NHL draft in order to acclimatize himself to the league and the play. It seems all eyes are already on what Kirwan will be doing after the OHL, before he’s played a single game.
“He’s a big strong guy and he finishes his hits,” Bob Boughner said. “The scouts already have him pegged as a high end guy in the draft two years from now.”
For his part, Kirwan just wants to get on the ice.
“I can’t wait to get started,” he said.