The 2011 WHL Trade Deadline has come and gone and the Portland Winterhawks made one move, trading a defense prospect in Branden Scheidl to Lethbridge for a forward prospect in Ryley Bennefield.
Bennefield is a 1994 born player (hockey age 16) that is playing for the Wetaskiwin Icemen of the Capital Junior Hockey League in his hometwon of Westaskiwin, AB. In 16 games, he has 12-8-20 and 6 PIM’s. He played for the Leduc Oil Kings in the Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League last year, producing 21-18-39 and 40 PIM’s in 35 games. He was the Hurricanes second round selection in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft.
Scheidl, a 1995 born player (hockey age 15) was Portland’s fourth round bantam selection in the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft and plays for the Saskatoon Contacts in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League.
The big deal of the day was Brayden Schenn moving to the Saskatoon Blades, but I’ll recap the U.S. Divison deals first:
Spokane Chiefs: made no moves today…their roster (which has been the hottest team in the WHL the last month) remains intact with the exception of sending d-man Kyle Krzyzaniak to Dauphin of the MJHL.
Tri City Americans: Made a significant move to get 91 d-man Matt MacKenzie from the Calgary Hitmen for 92 forward Brooks Macek and 92 d-man Spencer Humphries plus a conditional 3rd rounder in 2012 (probably conditional on if MacKenzie returns as an overager in 2011-12). MacKenzie was a key on the Hitmen WHL Championship team last year, paired a lot with Michael Stone and he has a wealth of playoff experience.
The Americans gave up quite a bit in Macek, whose numbers have dropped this year, and Humphries, who had been improving a lot this year. Macek was a point a game player as a 17 year old with 73 points in 72 games, but had dropped this year with 24 points in 38 games. Maybe a change of scenery will be good for him.
With the move, the Ams get an upgrade on defense with MacKenzie while moving Macek will most likely mean more playing time for 16 year old Connor Rankin, which isn’t a bad thing for the Ams.
Seattle Thunderbirds: The Thunderbirds are a team that has struggled to score goals this year, averaging 2.83/game, so they went out and moved forward Charles Wells (27 points in 41 games and 55 points last year) for defenseman Ryan Button from Prince Albert. Both are 91 born players.
Button is a good, puck-moving defenseman that had 23 points in 44 games in Prince Albert and he can help bloster an already pretty good power play for Seattle. Wells, if the rumors I have heard are correct, may have asked out of Seattle and if Button was the return than Russ Farwell did pretty well.
The ‘Birds also made a more minor deal, getting 92 born d-man Mitch Spooner from Regina for a conditional 5th round pick in 2012. Spooner had left the Pats earlier this year to ponder his hockey future. Spooner was originally Vancouver Giants property.
Everett Silvertips: They made one trade and it was fairly significant, trading 91 born forward Kellan Tochkin and 92 born d-man Alex Theriau (who was out last night with a lower body injury) to the Medicine Hat Tigers for 92 born forward Ryan Harrison and a 2nd round Bantam Pick.
Tochkin was one of the steadiest contributors to the Silvertips this year with 36 points in 38 games and Theriau is a former first round Bantam selection of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Harrison was a second round bantam selection of the Prince Albert Raiders that had 33 points in 40 games in the Hat.
Harrison is a year younger than Tochkin and I’m sure that was part of the reason for the trade from Everett’s side but I don’t see the trade having a huge impact on what Everett does the rest of the way.
The rest of the deals…
The big trade of the day was Brayden Schenn and a 3rd round bantam pick in 2012 to the Saskatoon Blades for first round picks in 2011 and 2012, 2nd round pick in 2011, the 1st round 2012 CHL Import pick and prospects Ayrton Nikkel and Tim McGauley heading to Brandon.
This trade was the worst kept secret this year and it was a matter of when and for how much when it was announced. The Wheaties did well getting top picks and the top two players the Blades selected in the 2010 Bantam Draft in Nikkel and McGauley.
For Saskatoon, they get the guy who could be the difference in the East and maybe the WHL without losing a roster player. Schenn is still recovering from a shoulder injury and should be ready in a week or so. Blades fans will be waiting with anticipation for that date, but shoulder injuries always worry me as they have a lot of reoccurring issues.
The BC Division was very quiet today with just the Vancouver Giants making a small deal, trading Tanner Sohn to the Saskatoon Blades for a 10th round pick in 2013. Sohn had already gone home awaiting a deal, so a late rounder two years from now isn’t out of the ordinary for a guy who was a 12th round bantam pick and already dealt once before in his WHL career. Sohn was also drafted by Saskatoon, then dropped, signed by Lethbridge and then traded to Vancouver.
Moose Jaw and Prince Albert exchanged imports with Michal Hlinka and a 3rd and 6th round picks in 2011 heading to PA for Sebastian Svendsen. I think the Warriors paid a high price for Svendsen who is now on his way to his fourth WHL team (Vancouver, Edmonton, PA and now MJ). Svendsen has 34 points in 44 games this year while Hlinka put up just six points in 22 games. Hlinka is a 93 born player while Svendsen is a 91 born player from Denmark.
That’s it…just 8 deals on the deadline…I’m sure that parity had something to do with that…the rosters are set. The post-season push is on…Hawks and Chiefs Wednesday night at the MC, hope to see you all there.