The Kamloops Blazers may be in Spokane but that didn’t stop them from making a deal with the Saskatoon Blades on Wednesday night.
The Blazers dealt defenceman Jordan Thomson, 17, forward Mitch Lipon, 17, and a first-round selection in the 2015 bantam draft to the Blades for forward Matt Revel, 17, a third-round selection in the 2016 draft and a conditional second-round pick in 2014.
Thomson, the fourth overall selection in the 2011 draft, was in his second season with the Blazers. He left the club on Nov. 13, returning home to Wawanesa, Man., for personal reasons, and never returned. He had seven assists in 20 games, after putting up 14 points in 47 games last season.
Lipon, from Regina, had seven points, two of them goals, in 31 games as a freshman with the Blazers.
Revel, from Abbotsford, had 19 points in 61 games as a 16-year-old last season in Saskatoon. This time around, he has 25 points, nine of them goals, in 43 games. Revel was never selected in the WHL draft.
“Matt is a young and talented player that is going to be an important part of this hockey club over the next few seasons,” Kamloops GM Craig Bonner said in a news release. “He has a tremendous skill set and is an elite skater. We believe he can step right in and contribute immediately.”
The trade was announced after the Blades had dropped a 6-4 decision to the Calgary Hitmen last night.
Revel is expected to join the Blazers in time to play against the Chiefs in Spokane on Friday night and should be in the Kamloops lineup Saturday when it plays host to the Prince George Cougars.
Meanwhile, the Kelowna Rockets, the No. 1 team in the CHL’s weekly rankings for the last two weeks, moved to add offence yesterday, two days prior to the arrival of the WHL’s trading deadline.
The Rockets, who dropped a 4-2 decision to the Oil Kings in Edmonton last night, acquired forward Marek Tvrdon, a 20-year-old Slovak, from the Vancouver Giants in exchange for a second-round selection in the 2014 bantam draft.
Tvrdon played 90 games over three seasons with the Giants, scoring 45 goals, but was beset by injuries and missed 126 games. A fourth-round selection by the Detroit Red Wings in the NHL’s 2011 draft, he has played 22 games with the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye this season, putting up 13 points, nine of them goals.
The Rockets expect Tvrdon, who had 31 goals in 60 games with the Giants in 2011-12, to join them on this Alberta swing.
Vancouver didn’t have room for Tvrdon as it has forwards Cain Franson and Tim Traber and defenceman Dalton Thrower as its 20-year-olds.
In order to make room for Tvrdon, the Rockets dealt veteran Zach Franko, 20, to the Kootenay Ice for two draft picks — a second-rounder in 2014 and a third in 2016.
Franko, a Winnipegger, has played 252 games over four seasons with the Rockets, putting up 199 points, including 72 goals.
In another major move, the Calgary Hitmen, who are atop the Eastern Conference, dealt a first-round selection in the 2014 bantam draft to the Portland Winterhawks for the rights to forward Adam Tambellini, 20. The son of former NHLer Steve Tambellini, Adam had been at the U of North Dakota where he had four points, two of them goals, in 16 games.
Tambellini, a third-round selection by the New York Rangers in the 2013 NHL draft, made his WHL with the Hitmen last night, scoring once and adding three assists as Calgary ran its winning streak to seven games with a 6-4 victory over the host Saskatoon Blades.
The WHL’s trade deadline arrives Friday at 11 a.m. PT.
Since Dec. 28, when the WHL’s Christmas trade freeze ended, teams have combined to swap 27 players and 32 bantam draft picks.