Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Seattle Thunderbirds have traded D Reid Fritzke, 16, to the Swift Current Broncos for a conditional fifth-round selection in the 2013 bantam draft. . . . Fritzke, an eight-round pick by Seattle in the 2011 bantam draft, is from Swift Current and plays for the midget AAA Legionnaires. He has 11 points in 26 games. . . . The WHL is under a trade moratorium at the moment, one that runs through Dec. 26. However, a Broncos news release that was issued Monday points out this deal was approved by the WHL office on Friday.

The Red Deer Rebels will have Bolton Pouliot in goal tonight as they play host to the Kootenay Ice. Patrik Bartosak, the Rebels’ starter, is with the Czech national junior team. Spencer Tremblay injured a knee in Saturday’s 6-1 loss to the visiting Kelowna Rockets and won’t play for a while. Tremblay had been brought in to compete with Pouliot while Bartosak was away. . . . “It’s a tough one for Spence,” Brent Sutter, the Rebels’ owner, general manager and head coach, told Greg Meachem of the Red Deer Advocate. “He won’t be ready to play for maybe three weeks, so the decision now is that Bolton will stay here for sure. We’ll get Spence to a junior A team and look at bringing him back next fall.”

The Saskatoon Blades are hunting for a seventh straight victory tonight as they meet the  Broncos in Swift Current. As well, Saskatoon F Matej Stransky is riding a seven-game goal streak, tied for the longest in the WHL this season. F Brendan Leipsic of the Portland Winterhawks had a seven-gamer from Oct. 28 through Nov. 10. . . . Saskatoon F Josh Nicholls leads the league with goals (26). Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix points out that the Blades haven’t had a skater lead the WHL in goals since Frank Banham scored 83 times in 1995-96.

The Vancouver Giants have signed D Michael Eskra, 15, who is with the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Eskra, who is from Regina, has nine points in 26 games this season. The Giants selected him with the 110th pick of the 2012 bantam draft.

The Prince George Cougars are going to take a look at D Sam Ruopp, 16, of the midget AAA Regina Pa Canadians after the Christmas break. The 6-foot-2, 170-pounder has 12 points in 25 games this season. He was a fourth-round selection in the 2011 bantam draft. . . . Ruopp, from Zehner, Sask., is the younger brother of Prince Albert Raiders D Harrison Ruopp, who also played for the Pat Canadians. . . . The Cougars return from the break with two games in Victoria against the Royals, on Dec. 28 and 29.

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