Friday, January 6, 2017

Rockets get sniper from Raiders; Gardiner should play Saturday

WHL trades since Dec. 27:

Trades: 17.
Players: 28.
Bantam draft picks: 19.
Conditional bantam draft picks: 5.
(WHL trade deadline is Jan. 10).
The Kelowna Rockets have acquired the rights to F Reid Gardiner, 20, from the Prince Albert Raiders for
a fifth-round selection in the 2017 WHL bantam draft, a conditional first-round pick in 2017 or 2018, and a conditional fifth-round pick in 2019.
Gardiner, who is from Humboldt, Sask., will turn 21 on Jan. 19. He has been with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins all season and has three goals and three assist in 23 games.
Gardiner is expected to report to the Rockets on Saturday and play that night against the visiting Kamloops Blazers. The Rockets, who are in Kamloops tonight (Friday), are third in the B.C. Division, one point behind the Blazers.
His acquisition left the Rockets with four 20-year-olds, one over the allowable limit. Kelowna looked after that situation by trading F Riley Stadel, 20, to the Edmonton Oil Kings for a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft.
The Rockets’ other two 20s are F Rod Southam, who is the team captain, and G Michael Herringer.
The acquisition of Gardiner matches moves made by the Prince George Cougars and Kamloops, the Rockets’ prime B.C. Division rivals. The Cougars landed Russian sniper Nikita Popugaev, 18, from the Moose Jaw Warriors on Thursday, while the Blazers
acquired F Lane Bauer, 20, a point-a-game skater, from the Oil Kings.
Last season, Gardiner had 92 points, including 43 goals, in 71 games with the Raiders. In 262 career regular-season games, all with the Raiders, he has 220 points, including 106 goals. The Raiders selected him with the eighth overall pick in the 2011 bantam draft.
Gardiner’s younger brother, Erik, joined the Rockets from the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos prior to Christmas. The Rockets had acquired Erik’s rights in a deal with the Regina Pats.
Stadel, who came into the WHL as a defenceman but has been used up front of late, was in his fifth season in Kelowna after being a third-round pick in the 2011 bantam draft. This season, he has five goals and two assists in 29 games. In 270 games with the Rockets, Stadel had 29 goals and 76 assists. He also played in 61 playoff games, putting up six goals and seven assists.
Earlier in the week, the Oil Kings traded away two 20s — D Aaron Irving and Bauer. They now are left with Stadel, F Graham Millar, who came over from the Everett Silvertips in the Irving deal, and F Tyler Robertson as their 20s.
The Vancouver Giants have acquired F Jordan Borstmayer from the Kelowna Rockets for a conditional fifth-round selection in the 2017 WHL bantam draft. . . . Borstmayer, from St. Brieux, Sask., will turn 19 on Jan. 9. He was a third-round pick by Kelowna in the 2013 bantam draft. . . . This season, he has three goals and four assists in 32 games. In 96 career games, he has six goals and six assists. . . . Borstmayer was down the depth chart with the Rockets, a team that has a lot of quality forwards, and now has an opportunity to earn ice time with the Giants.

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