WHL trade winds quiet heading into Wednesday

Those hoping for major moves in the Western Hockey League ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline might be disappointed.

Heading into Wednesday morning, only a pair of deals have been made among the 22 teams in the league since a trifecta of trades Friday.

The two latest moves took place Monday as the Victoria Royals traded 18-year-old forward Tyler Lees (1-2-3) to the Swift Current Broncos for a conditional ninth round pick in the 2021 WHL Draft, while the Kootenay Ice dealt 18-year-old forward Cyle McNabb (1-3-4) to the Saskatoon Blades for 18-year-old forward Brandon Machado (2-1-3) and a fifth round pick in 2021.

McNabb had been acquired from the Vancouver Giants a few days earlier for overage blueliner Dallas Hines and had an assist in three games with the Ice.

The last major transaction took place last Thursday when the Prince Albert Raiders acquired overage forward Dante Hannoun and two draft picks from the Victoria Royals for overager Kody McDonald, 18-year-old Carson Miller and a draft pick.

Teams have until 3 p.m. mountain time (4 p.m. in Prince Albert) Thursday to make a deal.

Around the CHL

Things haven’t been quiet in the Ontario Hockey League as three big trades were made Tuesday.

The Oshawa Generals traded their 19-year-old captain Jack Studnicka and overage blueliner Matt Brassard to the Niagara IceDogs for 16-year-old defenceman Lleyton Moore (2-8-10) and six draft picks.

Studnicka, who was a member of Canada’s World Junior team and is a forward prospect of the Boston Bruins, has 34 points in 30 games this year.

Brassard, who was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in 2017, has 27 points in 35 games.

The Generals would later go acquire overage forward and Colorado Avalanche prospect Brandon Saigeon (25-36-61) from the Hamilton Bulldogs for three draft picks.

Meanwhile, the league-leading Ottawa 67’s increased their firepower on offence by picking up overage forward Kyle Maksimovich (23-33-56) from the Erie Otters for unsigned prospect Austen Swankler and four draft picks.

Swankler, a 17-year-old American forward who is committed to the NCAA’s Michigan Wolverines, has 19 points in 29 games in the USHL this year for the Waterloo Black Hawks and Sioux Falls Stampede.

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s trade deadline was on Sunday, with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies making the biggest move by acquiring blueliner Noah Dobson from the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

The 19-year-old, who was a first round pick by the New York Islanders at the 2018 NHL Draft, had 16 points in 28 games for the defending Memorial Cup champions before leaving to play for Canada at the World Juniors.

Pre-Game Notes

Wednesday’s matchup between the Prince Albert Raiders and the Seattle Thunderbirds marks the first time that the Thunderbirds have visited the Art Hauser Centre since they picked up a 5-2 win on Nov. 2, 2016.

The two sides last squared off in Kent, Wash. on Nov. 14, 2017, which saw the Raiders come away with a 6-4 victory.

Following a 4-3 loss to the Saskatoon Blades at the SaskTel Centre Tuesday, the Thunderbirds have a record of 12-21-4-0 and are in fifth place in the U.S. Division.

They are also five points back of the Kamloops Blazers for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Having already traded overage forward Zack Andrusiak, veteran blueliner Reece Harsch and starting netminder Liam Hughes in recent days, the Thunderbirds are also without the services of forward Dillon Hamaliuk for the rest of the season.

The 18-year-old, who is expected to selected at the NHL Draft in June, had 26 points in 31 games before being on the receiving end of a knee-on-knee hit with Matthew Quigley of the Portland Winterhawks on Dec. 29.

Meanwhile, Raiders overage forward Sean Montgomery is set to move into second place on the all-time games played list for the team.

He is currently tied with Shane Zulyniak, who suited up in 318 contest on the Raiders’ blueliner from 1990-95.

Barring an injury or a suspension, the Calgary product will become the franchise leader in games played in his hometown on Feb. 8 against the Hitmen.

Former forward Brett Novak currently holds that distinction after playing in 330 contests from 2001-06.

Wednesday’s Schedule

  • Calgary vs. Moose Jaw – 7 p.m.
  • Seattle vs. Prince Albert – 7 p.m.
  • Portland vs. Regina – 7 p.m.
  • Red Deer vs. Swift Current – 7 p.m.
  • Kootenay vs. Lethbridge – 8 p.m.
  • Everett vs. Kelowna – 9 p.m.
  • Prince George vs. Spokane – 9 p.m.
  • Kamloops vs. Victoria – 9 p.m.

Tuesday’s Scores

  • Portland 4 Brandon 3 (Jaydon Dureau – One Goal and One Assist)
  • Saskatoon 4 Seattle 3 (Kyle Crnkovic – One Goal and Two Assists)
  • Prince George 1 Tri-City 0 (Taylor Gauthier – 36 Saves – Second Shutout This Season)

Sunday’s Scores

  • Lethbridge 5 Edmonton 2 (Liam Hughes – 39 Saves)
  • Seattle 6 Regina 3 (Noah Philp – Two Goals and Two Assists
  • Saskatoon 5 Brandon 2 (Josh Paterson – One Goal and One Assist)
  • Vancouver 6 Kootenay 0 (Trent Miner – 24 Saves – Second Shutout This Season)
  • Everett 5 Kamloops 1 (Connor Dewar – One Goal and One Assist)