The Ice pulled off a trade today as they dealt 16-year-old Forward Hudson Elynuik to the Spokane Chiefs in exchange for 18-year-old D-man Tyler King.
The release is here.
In King the Ice get a reliable blueliner to fill in the void left by D Tanner Faith's shoulder injury - which is season-ending now as Faith is listed as being out 4-6 months, thus requiring surgery.
They give up the 16-year-old Elyniuk, who will be a good power forward in a couple of years but like I mentioned in the last post, this club's future is more now or next year, so the price is likely worth the risk.
King isn't likely going to light the lamp from the Ice blueline but is steady in his own end. He's notched just a goal and four assists over 37 games this season. The former first round pick of the Chiefs - 17th overall in 2010 - just two behind Sam Reinhart and one behind Team Canada and Portland Winterhawk Nic Petan - will provide some sound defense to a club thin on the blueline with Faith's injury. For the Chiefs, King's departure - at the 2010 Bantam Draft his was King-Cunningham but has since dropped the hyphenated name, at least according to WHL.ca - will likely mean more playing time for Fernie product Jeff Rayman, 17, who has been in and out of the line-up this season.
As you'll notice in the release Ice GM Jeff Chynoweth also talked about the possibility of acquiring an older forward before the January 10 deadline. That would indicate he's at least trying to fill that open 20-year-old spot with some depth up front. I doubt that there's some scoring depth available other than 20's out there but it's going to be awful expensive and I think he's made his biggest splash when he got Bozon.
So, from a 20-year-old point of view, from the bottom six clubs in the WHL who might be interested in parting with a 20-yr-old forward:
Moose Jaw - Sam Fioretti
Prince George - Todd Fiddler (ex-Chief, was an Ice-killer every time he played against them)
Lethbridge - Brady Ramsay
Saskatoon - Nathan Burns
Tri-Cities - Phillip Tot
There's also Erik Benoit - who was claimed from Seattle by Moose Jaw earlier in the season but then released - he might still be available. Not sure if or where he's playing right now.
That's just a quick look at the 20's that can put the puck in the net and would do yeoman's work on the 2nd unit to provide some depth. The price could be too high but I'm thinking that given what's in the cards this season and the possible loss of Reinhart and Bozon - along with Dirk and MacPhee next year as graduates - the time is as good as any to try and add some scoring.