Thursday, 10 January 2019

Blades get Hughes, give up Paterson to Winterhawks

The Blades traded Josh Paterson to the Winterhawks on Thursday.
    The Saskatoon Blades added a dynamic and skilled forward on WHL trade deadline day, but it came with a bit of a cost.
    Before Thursday’s 4 p.m. Saskatchewan time league trade deadline, the Blades acquired 19-year-old left-winger Ryan Hughes from the Portland Winterhawks. To get Hughes, the Blades sent veteran 19-year-old centre Josh Paterson, a second round selection in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft and a fourth round pick in the 2021 WHL Bantam Draft to Portland.
    The players involved in the deal are both Edmonton, Alta., products.
    Hughes, who stands 5-foot-8 and weighs 153 pounds, made the Winterhawks as a list player in his 16-year-old season. In 223 career regular season games in Portland, Hughes piled up 64 goals and 87 assists.
    In helping the Winterhawks build the WHL’s fourth best record so far this season at 25-11-3-2, Hughes, who was an assistant captain in Portland, has appeared in 36 games collecting 17 goals, 23 assists and a plus-five rating in the plus-minus department.
    Paterson was selected by the Blades in the second round and 25th overall in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft. Since making Saskatoon’s roster as a 16-year-old rookie, Paterson, who stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 205 pounds, became a reliable two-way centre.
    In 246 career regular season games with the Blades, Paterson has 74 goals and 64 assists. In helping the Blade build the WHL’s third best record to date at 26-12-5 in the 2018-19 campaign, Paterson, who was a Blades assistant captain, appeared in 41 contests collecting 14 goals, 18 assists and a plus-eight rating.
    “First and foremost, we want to thank Josh (Paterson) for everything he has done for us and his parents, Sheryl and Brad,” said Blades general manager Colin Priestner in a release. “They’re at a lot of games and have become a big part of the Blades family over the past four years.
    “Josh was the first player I ever drafted and him signing with us when we were an unproven young team was a big deal for us, and I’ll always be grateful to Josh for that.”
    Priestner was pleased the Blades could pick up Hughes.
    “To get a first line, dynamic left-winger in Ryan, there’s always a price to pay,” said Priestner in the release. “To acquire a player with the speed and skill that Ryan possesses, along with 27 games of playoff experience, was big for us and for our coaching staff.
    “It’s difficult to find players who can produce like he can, and at the speed he can, and he’s coming from a great program that he’s spent the past four years in. These deals are never easy to make, but we’re very excited to add Ryan to our group and we’re looking forward to seeing him on the ice this weekend.”
    The Blades return to action on Friday, when they host the Calgary Hitmen (20-16-3-1) at 7 p.m. at the SaskTel Centre. The Blades and Winterhawks will go at it on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the SaskTel Centre.

Raiders add trio before deadline

Boston Bilous in action for the Oil Kings last season.
    The Prince Albert Raiders tweaked with their roster adding a trio of players before Thursday’s WHL trade deadline.
    The Raiders acquired 17-year-old goaltender Boston Bilous from the Edmonton Oil Kings in exchange for a conditional sixth round selection in the 2022 WHL Bantam Draft. Bilous, who stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 173 pounds, is in his second full WHL season.
    With the Oil Kings, he has appeared in 10 games this season posting a 3-4-1 record, a 3.56 goals against average, a .859 save percentage and one shutout.
    The Raiders also picked up 18-year-old defenceman Loeden Schaufler from the Seattle Thunderbirds in exchange for an eighth round pick in the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft. Schaufler, who stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 184 pounds, has appeared in 21 regular season games this season split between the Kootenay Ice and Thunderbirds posting two assists and a minus-eight rating.
    The Raiders added 17-year-old forward Bryce Bader and a conditional sixth around WHL Bantam Draft selection from the Calgary Hitmen in exchange for WHL rights to 17-year-old forward Quinn Olson and a conditional sixth round pick in the WHL Bantam Draft.
    Bader, who stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 205 pounds, has appeared in 10 regular season games in the current campaign with the Hitmen posting four goals and a plus-two rating.
    All three players still possess the potential to make a great impact in the league in the future. At the moment, they add extra depth to the Prince Albert roster.
    The Raiders, who sit first overall in the WHL at 35-5-0-1 and are rated first in the CHL’s Top 10 rankings, return to action on Friday, when they host the Portland Winterhawks at 7 p.m. at the Art Hauser Centre.

Hofer heads to Portland

Joel Hofer is now a member of the Winterhawks.
    The Portland Winterhawks might have made the most significant trade one day before Thursday’s WHL trade deadline that will likely give them a bigger chance to go on a long playoff run.
    On Wednesday in a blockbuster move, the Winterhawks acquired 18-year-old goaltender Joel Hofer from the Swift Current Broncos in exchange six WHL Bantam Draft selections. Portland gave up its first round selections in 2019 and 2021, a second round pick in 2020, a third round pick in 2019, a fourth round pick in 2020 and a fifth round pick in 2020.
    Hofer has appeared in 49 regular season games over two campaigns for the Broncos posting a 14-24-5 record, a 3.55 goals against average, a .907 save percentage and two shutouts.
    He was the Broncos backup goalie last season when they won the WHL title and appeared in the Memorial Cup tournament in Regina. Last June, Hofer was selected in the fourth round and 107th overall in the NHL Entry Draft held in Dallas, Texas.
    With the Broncos going under a massive rebuild, Hofer has done his best to hold the Swift Current side in games as the starter this season. In 30 regular season games with the Broncos in the current campaign, Hofer has posted a 6-21-3 record, a 4.02 goals against average, a .904 save percentage and one shutout.
    The Broncos sit last in the 22-team WHL with an 8-29-2-1 record.
    The Winterhawks sit fourth overall in the WHL at 25-11-3-2.
    The Broncos return to action on Saturday, when they host the Seattle Thunderbirds (13-21-4) at 7 p.m. at the Innovation Credit Union i-Plex.
    The Winterhawks resume play on Friday, when they travel to Prince Albert to take on the Raiders at 7 p.m. at the Art Hauser Centre.

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