Saturday, January 05, 2008

Regina, Calgary and Kamloops Shake it Up

Some big moves today in the Western Hockey League... Regina is going flat out to win this year. Calgary adds a top scorer in this league.

Here's the three trades today from

BLAZERS MAKE TWO TRADES AQUIRE THREE PLAYERS, TWO DRAFT PICKS KAMLOOPS, BC – The Kamloops Blazers have completed two separate trades with the Regina Pats and Calgary Hitmen.The club has acquired 18-year-old defenseman Nick Ross, 19-year-old blueliner Spencer Fraipont (FRAY-pawnt), and a 4th round pick in the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft in exchange for 20-year-old defenseman Ryan Bender and 19-year-old rearguard Victor Bartley.

The Blazers have also acquired 17-year-old forward Devon Kalinski and a 2nd round selection in the 2008 Bantam Draft from the Hitmen in exchange for 20-year-old forward Brock Nixon and a 6th round pick in the ’08 Draft.

“These are significant changes to our hockey club,” says President Tom Gaglardi. “We feel we have improved our team, added to our draft options for next May, and created opportunities for the younger players on our roster to step forward. Plus, we have added three players who we expect to have back with us next season.”

Ross has scored 3 goals and added 25 assists in 41 games with Pats this season. The 18-year-old from Lethbridge is also a 1st round pick, 30th overall, of the Phoenix Coyotes in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Fraipont, from Kelowna, has a goal and an assist in 24 games with the Pats this year. Kalinski, from La Corey, AB, has 2 goals and 5 points in 35 games with the Hitmen this season after scoring 4 goals and 10 points in his rookie campaign.

“Nick is a top-flight WHL defenseman and we are absolutely thrilled to add him to our lineup. He will be able to play in every situation for us. “He’s a skilled player who will run our powerplay plus has a physical component to his game. Together, those attributes make him the key figure in these deals,” continued Gaglardi.

“Spencer is a reliable defenseman who will provide us with quality minutes on the back end. Yet, in order to improve our team, we had to pay a price and that meant moving two long-time members of our team in Victor and Ryan. We appreciate all they have done for the Blazers and wish them all the best with the Pats.”

“Devon is a winger who needs more ice time than he was getting with the Hitmen. We’re excited about having him join our team,” says Gaglardi. “We also take this opportunity to thank Brock for all his efforts and accomplishments in his four-plus years in Kamloops and hope he enjoys continued success in Calgary.”

All three players are expected to be in the lineup tonight when the Blazers take to the ice against the Kelowna Rockets.

CALGARY HITMEN ACQUIRE KAMLOOPS BLAZERS LEADING SCORER BROCK NIXON Calgary, AB – Calgary Hitmen General Manager and Head Coach Kelly Kisio announced today the acquisition of 20-year-old forward Brock Nixon along with a sixth round pick in the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft from the Kamloops Blazers in exchange for 17-year-old Devon Kalinski and a second round pick in the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft.

“We are very excited to add a veteran player of Brock Nixon’s caliber who will add a lot of depth to all facets of our team,” said Kisio.

“Nixon has put up some very good numbers in the past and we look forward to him doing the same here in Calgary. Unfortunately when you acquire a good player you have to give up a good player and we thank Devon Kalinski for his contributions to the Hitmen and wish him continued success in Kamloops.”

Nixon is in his fifth season in the WHL, all with the Blazers, and has played 286 career games picking up 81 goals and 100 assists for 181 points. His best offensive totals came last season when he led Kamloops in scoring posting a career high 79 points (35 goals, 44 assists).

RED DEER REBELS ADD TWO PLAYERS FROM REGINA RED DEER, AB – The Red Deer Rebels Hockey Club announced today they have acquired 18-year old defenceman Juraj Valach and 20-year old forward Troy Ofukany from the Regina Pats for 18-year old defenceman Dallas Jackson.

Also part of this deal, the Red Deer Rebels retain their 4th round pick in the 2009 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft and the Pats retain their 3rd round pick from the same draft, reversing a previous deal between the two clubs.

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