After two games of the season, the Maryland Black Bears are making moves already. Wednesday, they traded defenseman Bryden Sinclair and forward Logan Kittleson to the St. Cloud Norsemen for a tender contract and draft pick. Neither Sinclair nor Kittleson played in Monday’s game.
For both, it seemed to be a numbers game.
The defense has been packed with the additions of Seth Bergeron and Cam Gaudette, as well as the solid early play of Kevin Scott and Sean Kilcullen. That made one defenseman expendable and that happened to be Sinclair. The University of Maine commit played 50 games last years with seven assists and eight points. A hard-nose player who brought a physical aspect of the game, including a very lockdown mentality in the defensive zone. Sinclair came to Maryland from the Manitoba Junior League, playing for Opaskwayak Cree Nation Blizzard.
Kittleson was one of the returnees from last year up front, but with guys like Hunter McCoy and Daniel Colabufo making a solid first impression, he drew the short straw in this. With eight assists and 13 points last season in 44 games, the one big moment for Kittleson was his between the legs shot against Jamestown. Kittleson came to Maryland after three seasons with Burnsville High in Minnesota, where he was a captain in his last year.
On the upside, the addition of a tender contract will help the future of the Black Bears where they can sign a younger prospect and have his rights while he develops before he jumps up to the squad full-time. The draft pick is also a nice pick-up for restocking the cabinet for the Black Bears into next season. It also gives back those assets that the Black Bears gave up for Gaudette just before the season.
Both Sinclair and Kittleson played solid roles for the Black Bears last year and helped them getting into the playoff hunt before the season was cancelled. Hopefully this move will allow them the playing time they deserve and helps them excel into the college game when they depart from juniors. Best of luck to them in St. Cloud and moving forward in hockey.