With the WHL’s Christmas trade moratorium arriving this weekend, the Portland Winterhawks and Red Deer Rebels gone one done on Tuesday morning.
And what a deal it was, with the Winterhawks acquiring the rights to D Mathew Dumba.
Portland also gets an undisclosed conditional 2014 bantam draft pick in the deal, while the Rebels acquired F Presten Kopeck and undisclosed conditional draft picks in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
It was just over a year ago when the Winterhawks got whacked by the WHL — they were barred from the first five rounds of the 2013 bantam draft and forfeited first-round selections in the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 drafts. So those picks are out of play when it comes to trades.
Dumba, 19, has spent this season with the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, and has two points in 13 games. But he last played on Nov. 23. In fact, he played just four games in November.
Dumba, a native of Regina, was the seventh overall pick in the NHL’s 2012 draft.
Last season, he had 42 points, 16 of them goals, in 62 games with Red Deer. In 199 career WHL games, he has 127 points, including 51 goals. He was the fourth overall selection in the 2009 bantam draft.
Dumba will leave the Wild this week and join the Canadian national junior team’s selection camp that opens Thursday. Considering his idleness in Minnesota, one has to believe the chances are good that he will join the Winterhawks following the World Junior Championship that opens Dec. 26 in Malmo, Sweden.
“We feel acquiring the rights to Mathew Dumba is a risk worth taking,” Mike Johnston, the Winterhawks’ general manager and head coach, said in a news release. “He’s an impact player who can dominate both ends of the ice. He would also bring terrific character and leadership, as he’s a very highly regarded player around the league.”
Kopeck, 18, is in his second season with the Winterhawks. He has 10 points, including four goals, in 24 games. Last season, he had 19 points, 10 of them goals, in 64 games. The Medicine Hat native was a third-round pick in the 2010 bantam draft.
Kopeck, who hasn’t played since Nov. 22, is recovering from hernia surgery. He is expected to be game-ready sometime in January.
Greg Meachem of the Red Deer Advocate has more right here.
Alan Caldwell, over at Small Thoughts At Large, takes a look at the deal right here.
The WHL’s Christmas trade moratorium runs from Dec. 15 through Dec. 27.
The BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies fired general manager and head coach Bill Bestwick on Tuesday. According to a release from the team: “The new ownership group, which took over operations (Monday) has decided it was important to move in a different direction immediately.” . . . Craig Didmon, who had been Bestwick’s assistant, ran the bench during last night’s 4-2 victory over the visiting Nanaimo Clippers. . . . Under Bestwick this season, the Grizzlies were 19-8-3-2, which left them second in the Island Division, five points behind the first-place Powell River Kings. . . . In his time with the Grizzlies, Bestwick was 52-21-3-12. . . . Mario Annicchiarico of the Victoria Times Colonist has more right here.
Austin Rediron, a goaltender with the SJHL’s Melfort Mustangs, stopped 19 shots, and had a goal and an assist on Tuesday night. You can see the goal right here. . . . It was Melfort’s fifth goal in a 5-2 victory over the Kindersley Klippers.
When the night ended, the Edmonton Oil Kings (20-9-1), Swift Current Broncos (19-12-3), Calgary Hitmen (18-7-5) and Medicine Hat Tigers (19-9-3) were tied atop the Eastern Conference, each with 41 points. . . . By winning percentage, it’s Edmonton and Calgary, .683; Medicine Hat, .681; and Swift Current, .603. . . .
Not only that, but the Prince Albert Raiders (17-12-2), Brandon Wheat Kings (17-14-2) and Kootenay Ice (17-15-2) are tied for fifth, each with 36 points. . . .
This all could get pretty messy for the playoffs get here.
In Brandon, F Rihards Bukarts broke a 2-2 tie with his first of two goals at 6:58 of the second period and the Wheat Kings went on to a 5-2 victory over the Kamloops Blazers. . . . It was the Latvian’s first two-goal game. . . . Brandon has won its last two games and is 8-3-2 in its last 13 outings. . . . It was the 13th straight loss for Kamloops, and that’s a franchise record. The 1981-82 Kamloops Junior Oilers had a stretch of 12 consecutive losses. . . . Bukarts’ first goal, his 10th of the season, came just 49 seconds after Kamloops F Eric Krienke pulled his side into a 2-2 tie. . . . F Chad Robinson and F Jens Meilleur each had two assists for Brandon. . . . F Jesse Shynkaruk, a freshman from Saskatoon, had the Blazers’ other goal, the first of his career. . . . Kamloops gave G Cole Kehler, who turns 16 on Dec. 17, his first career start; he stopped 26 shots. . . . The Blazers lost C Matt Needham, their captain, when he took a puck to one ear in the first period. It’s not known whether he will be in the lineup tonight against the Pats in Regina. . . .
In Swift Current, the Kelowna Rockets won for the 16th time in 17 games as they doubled the Broncos, 4-2. . . . Kelowna F Ryan Olsen broke a 2-2 tie with his 12th goal, on the PP, at 18:52 of the third period. . . . The Rockets have won seven in a row. . . . D Damon Severson had two assists for Kelowna, which trailed 1-0 after the first period and 2-1 late in the third. . . . F Zach Franko, with his seventh, pulled the Rockets even at 16:42 of the third. . . . Kelowna G Jordon Cooke stopped 24 shots as he ran his record to 17-1-2. . . . His other numbers are 2.11 and .927. . . . Broncos G Eetu Laurikainen stopped 40 shots. . . . Kelowna (23-3-2) is tied with Portland (22-6-4) for top spot in the overall standings. The Rockets have four games in hand. . . .
In Saskatoon, the Edmonton Oil Kings held a 49-20 edge in shots as they beat the Blades, 3-1. . . . F Cole Benson’s second goal of the season, shorthanded at 9:57 of the second, broke a 1-1 tie. . . . F Henrik Samuelsson added insurance with another shortie, at 19:31 of the second. . . . Saskatoon’s PP is 0-for-16 over four games. . . . The Blades have lost seven in a row and 12 of 13. . . . Saskatoon G Troy Trombley turned aside 46 shots. . . . Edmonton D Aaron Irving had two assists. A freshman from Edmonton who was pointless in five games last season, Irving has 22 points, including 16 assists, in 30 games this season. . . . The Oil Kings have won six in a row and 15 of 18. . . .
In Lethbridge, F Tyler Wong continued his stellar season with two goals as the Hurricanes romped past the Red Deer Rebels, 6-0. . . . Wong, a 17-year-old sophomore from Cochrane, Alta., has 25 points, including 14 goals, in 33 games. Last season, he finished with 13 points, five of them goals, in 54 games. . . . According to post-game chatter, one of Wong's goals may end up going to F Josh Derko. . . . Lethbridge G Teagan Sacher stopped 35 shots for his first shutout this season and second of his career. . . . Red Deer starter Patrik Bartosak stayed home with the flu, so the start went to Taz Burman, who gave up six goals on 27 shots. Grant Naherniak, up from the midget AAA Moose Jaw Generals, played 12:29, stopping all six shots he faced. . . . Lethbridge F Reid Nemeth scored his first goal in his 23rd game this season. . . . The Hurricanes took 101 of the game’s 196 penalty minutes. Most of those penalties were handed out in the last half of the third period. . . . Lethbridge (5-24-4) has won two of three games. . . . Things got heated, too. Here’s Dylan Purcell of the Lethbridge Herald: “The game looked like a real rivalry game, complete with Rebels’ head coach Brent Sutter and Hurricanes’ assistant Brad Lukowich yelling at each other as time wound down. Lukowich could be seen point ing at the scoreboard while Sutter could only glare and share some opinions.” . . .
In Medicine Hat, F Logan McVeigh scored 27 seconds into OT to give the Tigers a 1-0 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . It was McVeigh’s sixth goal of the season. . . . Medicine Hat G Daniel Wapple stopped 39 shots, while Calgary’s Chris Driedger turned aside 33. . . . Wapple has one shutout this season and two in his career. . . . Calgary has points in six straight games and is 8-1-1 in its last 10. . . . The Tigers had F Blake Penner back in their lineup. He hadn’t played since Oct. 30. . . . Medicine Hat didn’t dress three players who are preparing to play in the World Junior Championship — F Markus Eisenschmid (Germany), G Marek Langhamer (Czech Republic) and F Hunter Shinkaruk (Canada). . . .
In Prince George, D Jagger Dirk’s fourth goal of the season broke a 1-1 tie at 4:12 of the third period and the Kootenay Ice went on to a 3-1 victory over the Cougars. . . . Ice G MacKenzie Skapski finished with a career-high 51 saves, 22 more than Prince George’s Ty Edmonds. . . . F Jordan Tkatch, with his seventh, gave the Cougars a 1-0 lead at 13:22 of the second. . . . Ice F Jaedon Descheneau tied it, with his 22nd, at 17:34 of the second. . . . Ice F Tim Bozon added insurance with his 10th at 15:59 of the third. . . . Attendance was 1,410 and, according to Jeff Hollick, the radio voice of the Ice, it was the smallest road crowd ever for a Kootenay game. . . . The Ice dressed 16 skaters, two under the maximum. F Sam Reinhardt, who will attend the Canadian national junior team camp later this week, was one of Kootenay’s scratches. . . . Kootenay did get back F Kyle O’Connor, who hadn’t played since Nov. 11. . . .
In Vancouver, the Giants scored the game’s first two goals, both in the first period, and went on to a 3-2 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . It was the third straight meeting between the teams, with the Giants winning the last two. . . . The Giants are tied for seventh in the Western Conference with the Tri-City Americans, one point behind the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Vancouver held a 2-0 first-period lead after outshooting the Royals, 22-1. Through two periods, shots were 31-7. . . . Victoria held a 9-2 edge in the third period. . . . Vancouver F Travis McEvoy gave his side a 3-1 lead with his sixth goal at 4:47 of the second. . . . Victoria got both of its goals from F Ben Walker, who has 12 goals. He scored once on the PP and once while shorthanded. . . . The Royals are fifth in the conference, a point behind the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Among Victoria’s scratches were F Logan Nelson (undisclosed injury) and F Steven Hodges (personal). . . . Vancouver D Mason Geertsen was hit with a headshot major for a game-ending hit on Victoria F Austin Carroll. In the resulting gathering, Victoria F Brandon Magee was given a match penalty for spearing. . . .
In Kennewick, Wash., F Mathew Barzal broke a 1-1 tie at 2:50 of the third period as the Seattle Thunderbirds beat the Tri-City Americans, 3-1. . . . Seattle has won seven in a row and now is fourth in the Western Conference, one point ahead of the Victoria Royals. . . . The Americans slipped to eighth in the conference. . . . Barzal, who also had an assist, has six goals. . . . Seattle F Roberts Lipsbergs opened the scoring with his 20th goal at 5:12 of the second. He later added an empty-netter. . . . Tri-City F Lucas Nickles tied it with his eighth at 17:24 of the second. . . . Seattle G Danny Mumaugh stopped 22 shots, while Tri-City’s Eric Comrie turned aside 29.
There has never been a subscription fee for this blog, but if you enjoy stopping by here, why not consider donating to the cause? Just click HERE. . . and thank you very much.