By this point, shock has turned into pure excitement for Collin Shirley and Matt Thomas.
Shirley, Thomas and the Kamloops Blazers have spent the past three days getting to know each other before the weekend, with Kamloops playing the Everett Silvertips today, 7 p.m., and the Vancouver Giants on Sunday, 6 p.m., at Interior Savings Centre.
The pair was acquired, along with three draft picks, from the Kootenay Ice on Tuesday in exchange for 19-year-old forward Tim Bozon and 19-year-old defenceman Landon Cross. Shirley, 17, is a 6-foot-2 left-winger, while the 18-year-old Thomas is a 6-foot-3 defenceman.
It was a blockbuster deal - the biggest in the WHL to this point in the season - but both players are fitting in nicely so far.
"It can be tough coming into a new group of guys, and it's different than back in Cranbrook," Shirley said. "But it's a good fit, lots of good guys, and I couldn't be more excited."
In addition to Shirley and Thomas, the Blazers received the Ice's third-round pick in the 2014 WHL bantam draft, along with first- and fifth-round selections in 2015.
At this point, it appears as though this trade could work out well for everyone involved.
The Ice, which is looking to make a run for the championship, got some experience on defence and a winger to play with top NHL prospect Sam Reinhart. The rebuilding Blazers restocked their cupboard with draft picks and also got a couple of younger players.
And, for Thomas and Shirley, they get a chance to play a little more.
"When I left Cranbrook, there were nine defencemen - there's only seven here," Thomas said. "That in itself gives me more opportunities, and I think this being a younger squad is a positive for me as well. The guys are younger here, and that could give me a better opportunity."
"When I heard about the trade, I was really excited to come to this team," agreed Shirley. "We're in more of a rebuilding stage, but that's a good thing for me and for the team down the road."
Shirley, a Saskatoon native, played in 60 games in 2012-13, his first WHL season, and had 23 points, including nine goals. Through 11 games this season, he has scored two goals and assisted on one other. Both of his goals came last weekend, when the Ice split a doubleheader with the Oil Kings in Edmonton.
He is a big body and a hard worker, and has spent some time in practice on the wing beside Tyson Ness and Cole Ully.
"You have to make a first impression," Shirley said. "The guys know a little bit about me, but we haven't played each other lots. I always strive to be the hardest-working guy in practice, which will (translate) to games."
Thomas also was a rookie in 2012-13, and picked up two assists and 28 penalty minutes in 66 games. He has one assist in 11 games this season - coincidentally, in Edmonton on Sunday - and admits he isn't known for his flash.
"I'm a simple (defenceman), I stay at home and make good passes out of the defensive zone," said the Calgary native. "I'm not overly offensive, and I can be physical when it needs to happen."
The differences between the Ice and Blazers this season lie in more than just their goals and their experience. The teams' head coaches also are on opposite ends of the coaching spectrum, with the Ice's Ryan McGill one of the more intense coaches out there, and Kamloops' Dave Hunchak somewhat cooler and quieter.
"It's a big change, for sure," Shirley said. "(McGill) is a good coach, he knows his stuff. He's a louder guy - but that's good. Dave, he's more of a quiet guy, more of a teacher. That's good too.
"I don't think any guy is better or worse than anyone else, you just have to take what they tell you and take advantage of it."
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Bozon and Cross made their Ice debuts last night in a 6-3 loss to the Portland Winterhawks in Cranbrook. Bozon had a power-play assist for Kootenay. Cross didn't record a point.
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JUST NOTES: D Jordan Thomson, who missed Saturday's 1-0 loss in Everett with an "upper-body" injury, was practising at full speed Friday. . . . F Ryan Gropp of Kamloops, who left the BCHL's Penticton Vees to join the Seattle Thunderbirds last week, played his first game last night, scoring on his first shift in what turned out to be a 3-2 shootout loss to the Tri-City Americans in Kennewick. . . . The Blazers will be holding their BMO Ultimate CHL Fan Appreciation Night today. As part of it, three fans will compete for the title of Ultimate Kamloops Blazers Fan and will have a chance to win a trip to the Memorial Cup in London, Ont., in May.