The Haliburton County Huskies bolstered their blueline over the weekend with the addition of five-year OHL veteran Simon Rose.

Drafted by the North Bay Battalion in 2017, Rose dressed in 185 games at the OHL level. That experience, and quality, will be invaluable to the Huskies down the stretch, says head coach and general manager Ryan Ramsay, who has his eyes firmly set on a franchise-first league championship.

“Simon is going to be one of, if not the best defenceman in the league. He’s an exceptional talent who has great pedigree having played so long in the OHL,” Ramsay said. “I’m sure he had his pick of pretty well every team in the OJHL, so for us to land him is huge.”

Huskies forward Christian Stevens played a pivotal role in getting the deal over the line. Having played with Rose for several years during his time with the Battalion, Stevens sold the blueliner about what life is like in the Highlands.

That piqued Rose’s interest, and once he got on the phone with Ramsay, the coach was able to seal the deal.

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“We just told him what we are hoping to achieve as a team this season, and our philosophies on hockey,” Ramsay said. “It seemed a pretty good match.”

Already boasting defensive talent such as Nathan Porter, Jonah Cochrane, Ryan Hall, Will Gourgouvelis, Jack Staniland and Isaac Sooklal, Ramsay feels his team now possesses the best D core in the league.

The team is expected to welcome Payton Schaly back into the fold over the coming days. Now into his final year of junior hockey, and hoping to secure an athletic scholarship stateside, Schaly moved down to Long Island, New York after Ontario’s lockdown shut down OJHL play. He recorded two assists in five games with the Islanders Hockey Club.

The Huskies are scheduled to host the North York Rangers Jan. 28, two days after Ontario’s lockdown is expected to end. Puck drop at S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena is set for 7:30 p.m

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