Victoria, BC- The Victoria Royals are pleased to announce that the club has acquired unsigned prospects, forward Jeremy Klessens (1999) and goaltender Brendan Benoit (2000) to go with a third round draft pick in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft, a seventh round pick in the 2018 draft and a conditional draft pick in 2019. In exchange the Royals have sent defenceman Jordan Wharrie, forward Tyler Thompson, the rights to forward Baron Thompson, a 10th round pick in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft and a third round pick in the 2018 draft to the Wheat Kings.
A native of Red Deer, AB, Klessens comes to Victoria after he recorded 21 points (8g-13a) in 49 games for the Olds Grizzlies of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL).
The 5-10, 187 lb forward spent the 2014-15 season with Red Deer North Star Chiefs of the Alberta Minor Midget AAA Hockey League. In 32 contests with the club Klessens registered 66 points (37g-29a) and finished first in team scoring and goals scored. Klessens was also a member of Team Alberta at the 2015 Canada Winter Games where he won a silver medal and collected a goal and an assist in six games.
Klessens was selected in the fourth round, 76th overall by Brandon in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft.
The product of Winnipeg, MB played for the Eastman Selects of the Manitoba Midget AAA Hockey League (MMHL) during the 2015-16 season. Benoit appeared in 25 games for Eastman and collected a 23-0-1 record to go along with a 2.03 goals against average (GAA), a 0.910 save percentage (SV%) and three shutouts. He helped his club to a MMHL high 83 points (40-1-0-3) and finished the season as the league leader in wins amongst goaltenders.
The 5-10, 145 lb netminder played in five post-season games as the Selects made it to the MMHL final. In the playoffs Beniot posted a 2-3-0 record with a 1.84 GAA, 0.913 SV% and three shutouts.
Benoit was drafted by Wheat Kings in the 10th round, 220th overall in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft.
Going to the Wheat Kings is 1997-born defenceman Jordan Wharrie, and 1997 and 1999-born forwards Tyler and Baron Thompson.
In 34 games with the Royals last season, the Port Moody, BC native tallied two points (1g-1a). Wharrie has played in 91 WHL career regular season contests split between Victoria and the Everett Silvertips and has recorded six points (3g-3a).
A native of Lakeville, MN, Thompson played in eight games for the Royals last season and tallied 3 points (2g-1a). Thompson was signed by the Royals in the summer of 2015.
Thompson, the younger brother to Tyler, spent last season with the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League. In 26 games Thompson registered four points (2g-2a). The Lakeville, MN was drafted by the Royals in the third round, 57th overall in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft.
Victoria will begin their pre-season schedule this weekend with three games in three days. They begin by traveling to Kamloops tomorrow to take on the Blazers at 7:00 p.m., and Kelowna to face the Rockets on Saturday with puck drop scheduled for 7:05 p.m. The Royals will then head to Everett on Sunday to play the Tri-City Americans at 3:00 p.m. as part of the Silvertips Annual Pre-Season Classic.
The Royals’ lone home game this preseason is next Saturday on September 10th against the Vancouver Giants. Puck drop is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.