Wolves acquire rights to Espanola scoring star Signoretti

Espanola Paper Kings forward Lucas Signoretti (16) carries a puck into the Greater Sudbury Cubs’ zone during NOJHL action at Chelmsford Arena in Chelmsford, Ontario on Thursday, March 16, 2023. PHOTO BY BEN LEESON/THE SUDBURY STAR/POSTMEDIA NETWORK

Expected to play vs. Niagara on Friday night

Ben Leeson – The Sudbury Star

After months of watching Lucas Signoretti light up the NOJHL, Sudbury Wolves brass have secured the services of the skilled forward from the Erie Otters.

Wolves general manager Rob Papineau announced on Thursday afternoon that his team had acquired Signoretti, a 19-year-old native of Kinburn, Ont. native and the Otters’ second-round choice in the 2020 OHL Priority Selection, in exchange for a conditional 15th-round pick in the 2026 draft.

Conditions on the pick were not disclosed.

Signoretti has been playing for the Espanola Paper Kings, Sudbury’s affiliates in the NOJHL, and leads that league with 65 points in only 29 games. A 5-foot-6, 168-pound product of the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite program and a former teammate of Wolves forward Evan Konyen, Signoretti was the Canadian Junior Hockey League First Star of the Month for October and recently represented the NOJHL at the Eastern Canada Cup All-Star Challenge in Trenton.

He was expected to make his return to the OHL when the Wolves host the Niagara IceDogs on Friday. Game time is 7:05 p.m.

“Lucas has been outstanding for Espanola and leads the NOJHL in scoring,” said Papineau, Sudbury’s vice-president of hockey operations. “He is a player that we have not been able to affiliate while playing for our affiliate team, as Erie had owned his OHL playing rights.

“We are very excited to be able to have access to Lucas now as he deserves the opportunity to play games in the OHL. We also would like to thank Jason Rapcewicz and the Espanola Paper Kings, who have been extremely supportive as an affiliate team in supporting and co-operating with us in developing players in the NOJHL for the OHL.”

Signoretti recorded 63 points in 55 games with the Pittsburgh 15U squad in his OHL draft year, prompting the Otters to make him the 40th-overall selection that spring. He spent the COVID-shortened 2020-21 campaign with the Detroit Honeybaked 16U team before making his debut for the Otters the following season and recording eight points in 58 games as a rookie.

He joined the Paper Kings last season and amassed 79 points in only 40 games en route to earning the NOJHL’s Best Overall Team Player award and a spot on the league’s first all-star team.

Signoretti was to follow Paper Kings defencemen Braydon Bruce and Spencer Horgan and goaltender Drew Gaulton, all of whom have also signed with the Wolves, in seeing action with the OHL club this season.

Sponsored by Tim Hortons, Friday’s game marks the Wolves Winter Wonderland Fan Fest and will feature live music, games, face painting, festive activities including outdoor fire pits and complimentary donuts and much more. Fans are encouraged to join the Pack early, with celebrations starting at 5 p.m.

Single-game tickets are on sale at www.greatersudbury.ca/tickets and at the Sudbury Community Arena box office.