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Trade Winds Blow into Youngstown: Phantoms Acquire Two Defensemen

February 7, 2018 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Youngstown Phantoms News Release

YOUNGSTOWN, OH - The Youngstown Phantoms have announced the trade and acquisition of two defensemen from the Central Illinois Flying Aces, Michael Callahan and Jason Smallidge in exchange for forward Alex Barber and defensemen Andrew Petrillo and Zach Metsa. In addition to the current players involved in the trade, the Phantoms have acquired forward prospect and Affiliate player Gabe Malek and Central Illinois' second round draft selection in the 2018 Phase 2 USHL Draft while Central Illinois receives prospect defensemen and Affiliate player Brandon Cimino along with the Phantoms' first round draft selection in the 2018 Phase 2 USHL Draft.

Michael Callahan hails from Franklin, Massachusetts and is in first season in the USHL after a successful career at Roxbury Latin Prep School in the Boston area. Callahan is committed to Providence College and participated in both the USA Hockey Top Prospects Game in Buffalo, NY back in September and most recently last month in Kearney, NE at the USHL / NHL Top Prospects Game with fellow Phantoms Curtis Hall, Max Ellis, Ivan Prosvetov, and Samuel Salonen. He is currently ranked 102 for North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting in the latest Mid Term Rankings for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Callahan stands 6'2 200 lbs. and is a left shot. In 37 games this season for the Flying Aces, Callahan had a 3-6-9 line. He was Central Illinois' 4th round selection (56th overall) in the 2015 Phase I USHL Draft.

"Michael Callahan is a player we know well from previous viewings over the years," said Phantoms' General Manager Jason Koehler. "He's one of the top first year defensemen in the league this year and has really made strides the last two months. We feel Michael significantly upgrades our D group and has the ability to play in all situations for us and adds an element similar to what we had last season in Michael Karow (now at Boston College and an NHL draft pick of the Arizona Coyotes in 2017). "

Joining Callahan in the move to the Phantoms is defenseman Jason Smallidge. Smallidge is in his second season in the USHL and played previously at St. Thomas Academy in Minnesota. The 6'2 190 lbs. right shot had a 1-1-2 line in 23 games this season for the Flying Aces and was the club's first round pick (13th overall) in the 2016 USHL Phase 2 Draft. He is originally from Eagan, Minnesota and is committed to play college hockey at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

"Jason Smallidge adds another big body and talented defenseman to our club, said Koehler. "Jason is considered a leader and competitor and we feel enhances the size and physical play of our team. The fact he's played two seasons in our league and comes from a quality Minnesota high school program gives us confidence he knows how to win, compete, and have success at our level and down the stretch and in the playoffs for us ."

Affiliate player and prospect Gabe Malek (6'0 200 lbs.) is from Wallingford, Pennsylvania and was the Flying Aces' 6th round pick (86th overall) in the 2017 Phase I USHL Draft. Malek played last season with the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers U16 team and this season is playing with Belle Tire's U16 team based in Detroit, Michigan. Malek is currently uncommitted to a college and will be placed on the Phantom's Affiliate List.

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