The Sudbury Wolves have acquired overall goaltender Joe Ranger from the Mississauga Steelheads just one day in advance of the CHL Import Draft on Friday.
Ranger, who has a solid core of family members in the nickel city, suited up in 29 regular season games last year, posting a save percentage of .911 and a goals against average 2.54 as Roman Basran also appeared in 45 games for Mississauga.
In the playoffs, Ranger saw action in another three games, with his numbers remaining rock solid: .922 save % - 2.69 GAA.
The twenty year-old native of Carp (he turns 21 in February), Ranger was a four round pick of the Steelheads in 2018, earning 15 starts that first year and 11 in 2019-2020 before losing out completely on the 2020-2021 campaign due to Covid.
The price that Sudbury paid is quite reasonable, surrendering their fourth round pick in 2023 in exchange for an experienced netminder.
In adding Ranger to the fold, it would appear to signal that: a) the Wolves are moving on from fellow overage goaltender Jonathan Lemaire, who struggled at times in 12 appearances with the team last year (.855 save % - 5.51 GAA) behind a relatively young team; and b) that the Wolves are not likely to devote their 8th overall pick in the Import draft to an older goalie, an option which had been discussed in local hockey circles for the past few months.
That said, given the graduation of recently signed pro Mitchell Weeks this spring, the Wolves will need to fill the second vacancy between the pipes from either their current prospect list or perhaps even more creatively.