Spitfires swing deal sending Christopoulos and Dionicio to Saginaw


Ahead of their game on Thursday night, the Windsor Spitfires have swung a significant trade.

The club has traded forward Alex Christopoulos and defenceman Rodwin Dionicio to the Saginaw Spirit in exchange for forward Valentin Zhugin, defenceman Roberto Mancini, a 2nd round pick in 2024 (PBO), a 2nd round pick in 2025 (SOO), and a 4th round pick in 2026 (OTT).

Zhugin is a native of Magnitogorsk, Russia and is currently in his third season in the OHL. 

He was selected in the 2021 CHL Import Draft by the Guelph Storm in round 1 #54 overall.

After two years with the Storm, Guelph decided to drop Zhugin from their roster and he re-entered the 2023 CHL Draft, where the Spirit took him 40th overall. 

So far this season, Zhugin has suited up for 17 games and has scored 9 goals and collected 5 assists for 14 points.

He has put up 76 points across 138 games played in his OHL career.

"Zhugin is off to a hot start, we expect him to continue to produce offensively." General Manager Bill Bowler said. "He is a player we liked for a number of years and we welcome him to our forward group."

Mancini is a native of Vaughan, Ontario and was drafted in round five, 88th overall, by the Saginaw Spirit in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection.

Mancini is in his fourth season in the OHL, with one season not played due to Covid.

Mancini has played all four years in Saginaw, and so far this season he's played in 17 games and has recorded 7 assists.

In his career, Mancini has produced 66 points in 185 career OHL games.

"Mancini is a complete heart and soul defender that can play in all situations. He is exactly what we were looking for and fills a need," Bowler said.

The Spitfires wished the best of luck in Saginaw to both Christopoulos and Dionicio, as the Spirit will host the Memorial Cup.

"These kids gave everything to our organization and we wish them the best on their Memorial Cup run," Bowler added.

Windsor also traded three picks to Kingston in exchange for forward Owen Outwater.