Saturday’s WHL trades: Cougars get first-rounder, more from Raiders for McDonald . . . Pats add forward from Rebels

WHEELING AND DEALING …

NUMBER OF TRADES (since Nov. 13): 24

PLAYERS: 45

BANTAM DRAFT PICKS: 29

CONDITONAL BANTAM DRAFT PICKS: 5


THE DEAL: Prince Albert acquired F Kody McDonald, 19, and a conditional fourth-round pick in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft for D Rhett Rhinehart, who turned 16 on Nov. 27, D PrinceAlbertAustin Crossley, 18, and the Raiders’ first-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft.

THE NUMBERS: McDonald was the Cougars’ leading goal scorer, with a single-season career-high of 19. He also had 17 assists in 35 games. . . . In 232 regular-season games, all with the Cougars, he had 60 goals and 66 assists. . . . The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Rhinehart had one assist in 31 games with the Raiders this season. . . . Crossley, 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, had four assists in 19 games with the Raiders this season, after recording a goal PrinceGeorgeand an assist in 30 games last season.

THE INFO: McDonald is from Lethbridge and was in his fourth season with the Cougars, who selected him in the second round of the 2013 bantam draft. It was evident on Friday evening that something was up as McDonald was scratched from the lineup just moments before the Cougars met the visiting Tri-City Americans. . . . Rhinehart, a right-hand shot from Lloydminster, Alta., was a first-round pick, 12th overall, by the Raiders in the 2016 gantam draft. He played last season for the midget prep team at the Yale Hockey Academy, putting up 30 points, nine of them goals, in 25 games. . . . Crossley, from Fort St. John, B.C., signed with the Raiders last season after playing 25 games with the BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers.

WHY: Despite being seven points out of a playoff spot at the time of the trade and playing in the toughest division in major junior hockey, the Raiders continue to work at strengthening this season’s roster. They are looking for McDonald to bring goals and grit. . . . The Cougars also were seven points out of a playoff spot at the time of the trade, which is all about looking down the road. This deal gets them back into the first round of the 2018 bantam draft after they dealt their pick to the Raiders on Nov. 18, 2016, in a deal that had D Brendan Guhle go to Prince George. The Raiders also got D Max Martin, F Kolby Johnson and a third-rounder in 2019 in that exchange. Apparently, the Raiders keep the Cougars’ first-round pick in 2018, while sending their pick to Prince George.


THE DEAL: The Regina Pats acquired F Austin Pratt, 18, from the Red Deer Rebels for a third-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft.

THE NUMBERS: The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Pratt was in his third season with Red Deer. ReginaPats100This season, he had seven goals and nine assists in 39 games. In 165 career games, he has 62 points, including 31 goals.

THE INFO: Pratt, from Lakeville, Minn., was a fourth-round selection by the Rebels in the 2014 bantam draft. . . . NHL Central Scouting had him ranked 103rd among North American skaters eligible for the NHL’s 2017 draft, but he wasn’t selected. . . . The trade came the morning after Pratt was victimized on the game-winning goal in a 3-2 loss to the host Saskatoon Blades. “You have to be able to pick your guy up in your own zone,” Brent Sutter, the Rebels’ GM and head coach, told Greg Meachem of reddeerrebels.com. “It’s a back door play and Pratter lets his guy go. He’s puck watching, not watching his man. The guy drives the net and scores.”

WHY: Pratt adds more depth to the Pats’ forward ranks, while the Rebels add another chip for what is an obvious rebuild.

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