WHEELING AND DEALING …
NUMBER OF TRADES (since Nov. 13): 27
BANTAM DRAFT PICKS: 37
CONDITONAL BANTAM DRAFT PICKS: 5
THE DEADLINE: Wednesday, Jan. 10 (2 p.m. PT, 3 p.m. MT, 4 p.m. CT)
THE DEAL: The Vancouver Giants acquired D Joel Sexsmith, 15, from the Swift Current Broncos for a first-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft.
THE NUMBERS: Sexsmith, 6-foot-1 and 165 pounds, was picked by the Broncos with the ninth overall selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. Last season, he had four goals and 12 assists in 30 games with the bantam prep team at the Rink Hockey Academy. . . . This season, he has a goal and three assists in eight games with the Northern Xtreme midget prep team.
THE INFO: Sexsmith is the only first-round pick from the 2017 bantam draft who has yet to sign a WHL contract. He is represented by Gerry Johnson, whose firm includes former Vancouver GM Scott Bonner. . . . Sexsmith, who is from Edmonton, played for Team Alberta at the WHL Cup earlier this season, scoring once and adding two assists in five games.
WHY: The Giants didn’t make the playoffs in any of the previous three seasons and now are in the chase for top spot in the Western Conference. This deal allows them to add a highly touted young defenceman to their protected list without surrendering anything off their roster; of course, they still have to sign him. . . . At the moment, Vancouver also holds three second-round picks in the 2019 bantam draft, so could afford to give up a first-rounder.
THE DEAL: The Prince Albert Raiders acquired D Konrad Belcourt, 17, from the Kelowna Rockets for fifth- and eighth-round picks in the 2019 bantam draft.
THE NUMBERS: The 5-foot-11, 160-pound Belcourt had one goal and three assists in 64 games over two seasons with Kelowna. This season, he has one goal and two assists in 20 games.
THE INFO: From Sherwood Park, Alta., Belcourt was a fourth-round pick by Kelowna in the 2015 bantam draft.
WHY: Belcourt had asked for a trade in the hopes of getting more playing time. . . . Including Belcourt, the Raiders show eight defencemen on their roster. But Sergei Sapego is injured and Kaiden Guhle, 15, will have to go back to the OHA Edmonton bantam prep team at some point. . . . The Rockets show eight defencemen on their roster, but four of those are freshmen. You can expect Kelowna