Pats busy with trades . . . Tigers add veterans . . . Wheaties add experienced d-man . . . T-birds busy


World Champs! !!!

— Joe Hicketts (@Hicksy_2)


If the WHL was a high-stakes poker game with four seats, two of those would belong to the Brandon Wheat Kings and Kelowna Rockets, both of whom have brought in high-profile players in the last while.

Now you can deal in the Medicine Hat Tigers, too.

The Tigers have acquired D Kyle Burroughs and F Dryden Hunt, a pair of 19-year-olds, from the Regina Pats in exchange for D Connor Hobbs, who turned 18 on Sunday, and two bantam draft picks — a second-rounder in 2016 and a third-rounder in 2015.

Burroughs, from Langley, B.C., was the Pats’ captain. Hunt, who lead Regina in assists (33) and points (47), is from Nelson, B.C.

Hunt has 47 points, including 14 goals, in 37 games, leaving him tied for 11th in the points derby. He has 97 points, 40 of them goals, in 163 regular-season games.

Burroughs has 22 points, including five goals, in 36 games. A seventh-round selection by the New York Islanders in the 2013 NHL draft, Burroughs is a WHL-leading plus-31. In 220 regular-season games, he has 103 points, 20 of them goals.

Burroughs and Hunt are expected to be in the Tigers’ lineup when they visit the Victoria Royals on Wednesday.

Hobbs was born in Regina but now calls Saskatoon home. He was in his first season with the Tigers — he had a goal and an assist in 12 games — when he left them on Oct. 29 and asked to be traded. Shortly after, he joined the SJHL’s Nipawin Hawks for four games. He then played for Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge in Kindersley, Sask., but hasn’t been in a game since it ended on Dec. 20.

As for his decision to leave the Tigers, Hobbs told Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post: “Some bad communication between me and certain people led to me needing to leave. There are a lot of factors that I took into consideration before asking for a trade. I love the guys there and love my billets and the town. It’s just really too bad it didn’t work out there but I’m excited to go to Regina.”

Hobbs was a fourth-round selection by the Prince Albert Raiders in the 2012 bantam draft. He was dealt to the Tigers on Jan. 1, 2013. In that exchange, the Raiders acquired D Dylan Busenius, F Jayden Hart and a sixth-round pick in the 2014 bantam draft, with the Tigers acquiring D Zach Hodder, F Logan McVeigh, Hobbs and a second-round pick in the 2013 bantam draft.

“There’s been a lot of time spent looking at things ever since Hobbs left the team,” Shaun Clouston, the Tigers’ GM and head coach, told the Medicine Hat News. “When something didn’t materialize shortly after that, we believed it would probably be closer to a deadline type of a deal.

“This (trade) didn’t take one guy out of our lineup or off our current roster. We were able to add two veteran players, two players that have played hard and have proven over the years that they’re legitimate high-end players and they both have something to prove.”

Later Monday, the Pats traded F Connor Gay, 19, to the Red Deer Rebels for F Jake Leschyshyn, 15. Regina also got a fourth-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft, while giving up three picks — a first in 2016, a second in 2015 and a seventh in 2017.

The Rebels will be the host team for the 2016 Memorial Cup.

Gay, from Saskatoon, had a team-high 20 goals in 39 games with the Pats and was second in points (44). In 135 regular-season games over three seasons, he has 92 points, including 40 goals.

Leschyshyn was the sixth overall selection in the 2014 bantam draft. He is the son of former NHL defenceman Curtis Leschyshyn, who played for the Saskatoon Blades. Jake is playing for the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers. He leads the team with 24 points in 25 games.

By making this trade, Brent Sutter, the Rebels’ owner, general manager and head coach, was able to restock his draft cupboard after he gave up a 2016 first-round pick and a 2015 second-round selection in acquiring D Nelson Nogier and F Austin Adamson from the Saskatoon Blades on Dec. 14.

“Your bring those two assets (Nogier and Gay) back to your team and now you’re dealing from an area of strength again going into the summer and next season where we have all our picks and them some,” Sutter told Greg Meachem, the Red Deer Advocate’s sports editor. “Also, adding a player like Connor to our hockey team is significant.

“Again, this wasn’t an easy thing to do, but it’s a responsibility that I have . . . a part of the stakes involved when you’re hosting the Memorial Cup. When you’re going to be the host you have to make sure you have to team that gives you the opportunity to be very competitive and a chance to be very successful in league play and during the tournament, too. It’s just the way it is. These are the types of things you have to do and we were in a position where we could do it.”

One more thing – by my count, the Pats currently have 20 players left on their roster. Got to be more moves coming for them yet.

— Alan Caldwell (@smallatlarge)

Also on Monday, the Saskatoon Blades dealt G Trevor Martin, 18, to Red Deer for D Kolton Dixon, 19.

The Rebels sent Martin to the SJHL’s Melville Millionaires. In 19 games with the Blades, he was 3-10-2, 4.16, .886. He is from Ardrossan, Alta.

Dixon, from Red Deer, had a goal and two assists in 32 games this season. In 138 regular-season games, the first 43 with the Victoria Royals, he has 12 points, including 11 assists.

With Martin gone, the Blades have brought in Brock Hamm, 17, from the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos to back up Nik Amundrud. Hamm, from Saskatoon, was 9-10-0, 2.72, .918 with Humboldt.

Meanwhile, the Wheat Kings made another move on Monday as they added D Reid Gow, 20, to their roster. Brandon acquired his rights from the Spokane Chiefs for a fifth-round bantam draft pick.

According to the Chiefs, they will have the option of using that selection in 2015 or 2016.

The Wheat Kings had room to add one 20-year-old and Gow, who is from the nearby community of Killarney, made a whole lot of sense. He played four seasons with the Chiefs, before leaving them over the summer and enrolling at the U of Manitoba in Winnipeg where he has been playing with the Bisons. He had seven points, two of them goals, in 18 games with the Bisons.

As a youngster, Gow dreamed of playing for the Wheat Kings, but the Chiefs selected him with the 16th overall pick in the 2009 bantam draft.

“It’s going to be awesome,” Gow told James Shewaga, the Brandon Sun’s sports editor. “I’m very excited. There’s lots going on here in Brandon and I’m really happy to be here . . . They have unbelievable players in all positions and it’s a special team and I hope to add to that in any way I can, in a leadership role and helping out the young guns and just being the kind of player that I am with them. . . .

“It’s very exciting to be a Wheat King. I never thought it would happen. When you are young, you dream about being a Wheat King, so it’s very exciting for me and I can’t wait.”

Last season in Spokane, Gow had 62 points, including 56 assists, in 65 games. In 229 career regular-season games, all with the Chiefs, he had 146 points, including 129 assists.

Gow, who plans on returning to the Bisons next season, practised with the Wheat Kings on Monday and is expected to make his debut with them tonight against the visiting Everett Silvertips.

“Originally, Reid Gow chose not to play his overage year in Spokane because he wanted to be closer to home and family in Manitoba,” Tim Speltz, the Chiefs’ general manager, said in a news release.“Reid enrolled and played the first half of this season at the University of Manitoba.”

Speltz added that the Wheat Kings were given permission to talk to Gow “after the Christmas break to discuss the option of Reid playing in Brandon.Joining the Wheat Kings will allow Reid to be closer to home and family, which is important to him, while also enabling Reid to continue studies at the U of M.”

With Gow on the roster, Brandon is carrying nine defenceman. That includes Kale Clague, the terrific 16-year-old freshman who is out with an undisclosed injury. Clague is listed as being out week-to-week.

The Seattle Thunderbirds made three roster changes on Monday as they added Latvian F Roberts Lipsbergs, a 20-year-old from Denmark, to their roster.

Lipsbergs, who played the previous two seasons with Seattle, had been with the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder. He had a goal and two assists in 15 games with the Thunder.

Lipsbergs is a two-spotter — a 20-year-old import — and will fill spots that had belonged to F Justin Hickman, 20, and Austrian F Florian Baltram, 17.

Hickman’s season is over as he is scheduled to have surgery on a shoulder. Seattle’s captain had 28 points, including nine goals, in ?? games this season. In five seasons with the Thunderbirds, he played in 285 games, recording 132 points, 55 of them goals.

Baltram had a goal and four assists in 34 games. As a first-year import, he couldn’t be traded, so had to be released. Seattle also has Danish F Alexander True, 17, on its roster. True has 10 points, including five goals, in 31 games.

Last season, with Seattle, Lipsbergs had 52 points, including 33 goals, in 68 games. In 2012-13, as a freshman, he put up 58 points, 30 of them goals, in 64 games.

Lipsbergs is expected to be in the Thunderbirds’ lineup Friday and Sunday when they go home-and-home with the Tri-City Americans. They’ll open the weekend in Kennewick, Wash., on Friday and finish the series Sunday in Kent, Wash. The latter game was scheduled for Saturday but was moved to Sunday to avoid a conflict with the Seattle Seahawks’ NFL playoff game.

Tom Renney, the president of Hockey Canada, met with the media in Toronto on Monday and, yes, he chose his words carefully. Of course, Renney wasn’t with Hockey Canada when the decisions were made that haunted the 2015 World Junior Championship. Ken Campbell of The Hockey News was there and he blogged about it right here.


A Monday evening tweet from Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald reports that “Dawson Davidson has been called up by Kamloops for the rest of the season from the Moose Jaw Generals.”

Davidson, a third-round pick in the 2013 bantam draft, is from Moosomin, Sask., and had been playing with the midget AAA Generals.

Davidson joined the Blazers after Christmas and has two goals in four games. A terrific skater, he’s slight but a gifted offensive talent and has been seeing playing time on the point on the first PP unit.

Taylor Rocca of the Cranbrook Daily Townsman reports that Kootenay Ice D Tanner Faith may not play again this season.

“The Minnesota Wild prospect, who only suited up in 10 games last season due to an upper-body injury, has likely seen his 2014-15 WHL campaign come to an end after sustaining an upper-body injury Dec. 6 in Spokane,” writes Rocca. “Faith has only suited up in 19 games for the Ice so far this season.”

Rocca’s story is right here.

Don’t accuse Coach Constantine of having no sense of humor. His stylish new hat looks perfect for this roadie!

— Everett Silvertips (@WHLsilvertips)


Dec. 10 . . .

To Kelowna: D Josh Morrissey (95), F Gage Quinney (95).

To Prince Albert: D Jesse Lees (95), F Austin Glover (96), 2016 second-round pick, 2017 third-round pick.

Dec. 12 . . .

To Red Deer: D Nelson Nogier (96), F Austin Adamson (96).

To Saskatoon: F Mason McCarty (97), 2015 second-round pick, 2016 first-round pick.

Dec. 16 . . .

To Calgary: G Thatcher Demko, 19, who is at Boston College.

To Spokane: Conditional draft picks. Guy Flaming of The Pipeline Show tweeted that he had it as a second-rounder in 2015 and a second- or third-rounder in 2016.

Dec. 27 . . .

To Swift Current: D Griffin Foulk, 19.

To Lethbridge: Conditional eighth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft.

Dec. 27 . . .

To Red Deer: D Colton Bobyk, 18, and a 2016 fourth-round bantam draft pick.

To Spokane: D Nick Charif, 19, a second-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft and a conditional sixth-round selection in 2016.

Jan. 2 . . .

To Brandon: F Morgan Klimchuk, 19.

To Regina: F Jesse Gabrielle, 17.

Jan. 5 . . .

To Medicine Hat: D Kyle Burroughs, 19, and F Dryden Hunt, 19.

To Regina: D Connor Hobbs, 17, and two bantam draft picks — second-rounder in 2016 and third-rounder in 2015.

Jan. 5 . . .

To Saskatoon: D Kolton Dixon, 19.

To Red Deer: G Trevor Martin, 18.

Jan. 5 . . .

To Red Deer: F Connor Gay, 19, and three bantam draft picks — a first-rounder in 2016, a second in 2015 and a seventh in 2017.

To Regina: F Jake Leschyshyn, 15, and a fourth-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft.

Jan. 5 . . .

To Brandon: D Reid Gow, 20.

To Spokane: A fifth-round bantam draft pick, Spokane’s option for 2015 or 2016.