There were three trades made involving veteran players on Thursday during the WHL’s annual draft. . . .
The Saskatoon Blades dealt G Ethan Chadwick, 19, to the Everett Silvertips for two draft picks — a 2023 second-round pick that originally belong to the Kamloops Blazers and Everett’s fourth-rounder in 2025. . . . From Saskatoon, Chadwick was selected by the Blades in the third round of the 2019 draft. In 46 games with the Blades, he was 29-12-2, ???, .895. . . . In this season’s playoffs, he was 5-4, including victories in Games 3, 4 and 5 against the Regina Pats. He also won back-to-back games in the second round as the Blades came back from a 0-3 deficit to oust the Red Deer Rebels in seven games. . . . Chadwick and Austin Elliott, also 19, shared the Blades’ goaltending duties this season. . . . “This was not an easy situation to navigate with two great goalies who each played a pivotal role in our success this year,” Colin Priestner, the Blades’ general manager, said in a news release. “With two 19-year-old starting goalies who are both deserving of being starters in the league, we made this move to give Ethan the opportunity he deserves with a great franchise in Everett.” . . . The Blades used the 2023 second-round selection to take G Ryley Budd from the Calgary Northstars. . . .
The Portland Winterhawks traded F Aidan Litke, 20, to the Edmonton Oil Kings for a third-round selection in Thursday’s draft. That pick originated with the Prince George Cougars. . . . Litke, from Winnipeg, was one of five potential 20-year-olds on the Portland roster, the others being F Gabe Klassen, D Ryan McCleary, F Jack O’Brien and F James Stefan. . . . In 123 games with the Winterhawks, Litke had 31 goals and 36 assists. This season, he put up 13 goals and 23 assists in 50 games. . . . Portland selected him in the sixth round of the 2018 draft. . . . The Winterhawks’ used the third-round pick to take F Owen Chapman of Saskatoon, who played with the Northern Alberta Xtreme U15 prep team. . . .
The Oil Kings also acquired D Marc Lajoie, another 20-year-old, from the Tri-City Americans for two draft picks — a 2025 second-rounder that originally belonged to the Americans and a fifth-rounder in 2026. . . . The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Lajoie, who will turn 20 on May 21, is from St. Albert, Alta. He was the Americans’ captain this season. . . . “We have an abundance of quality (2003-born) players returning,” Bob Tory, Tri-City’s general manager, said in a news release, “which forces us to make some hard decisions. Recouping quality draft capital was a priority as we can only carry three (20-year-old) players each season.” . . . Lajoie played four seasons with the Americans after being the 14th overall selection in the 2018 draft. He had 26 goals and 67 assists in 215 regular-season games. This season, he had five goals and 32 assists in 65 games. . . . His father, Serge, works with the Oil Kings as an assistant coach and the manager of player development.
WHL PLAYOFF NOTES:
When the Winnipeg Ice plays host to the Seattle Thunderbirds in Game 1 of the WHL’s championship final tonight, Canada Life Centre’s upper bowl won’t be open. The lower bowl has a capacity of about 8,800. . . . Carter Brooks (@CBrooksie84) reported Tuesday that tickets for Games 1 and 2 “range in price from $31 to $62.” . . .
The Ice and Thunderbirds each is 12-2 in these playoffs, including 8-2 in their past 10 games. . . . Winnipeg finished with a 57-10-1 regular-season record; Seattle was 54-11-3. . . . There are a combined 17 players on the two rosters who already have been selected in the NHL draft. Of those, 10 play for the Thunderbirds. . . .
Geoffrey Brandow (@GeoffreyBrandow), after the Seattle Thunderbirds won the Western Conference title in Kamloops on Monday: “Blazers F Logan Stankoven is held off the scoresheet for sixth time in 62 games this season (and a minus player for just the 13th). Finishes playoffs with 30 points to become one of three players with consecutive 30+ point outputs in a postseason.
“Players to Record 30+ points in 2 WHL playoffs:
Chuck Arnason, Flin Flon (32 in 1970; 37 in 1971)
Ty Rattie, Portland (33 in 2012; 36 in 2013)
Logan Stankoven, Kamloops (31 in 2022; 30 in 2023)
Dale Derkatch, Regina, had non-consecutive years of 34 points in 1982 and 53 in 1984.”
Thunderbirds radio voice Thom Beuning (@ThomBeuning): “Jared Davidson now sits alone in career playoff goals as a Thunderbird with 23 and is third in career playoff points (50), trailing only Ethan Bear (55) and Mat Barzal (65). From undrafted to unbelievable!” . . .
Games 3 and 4 of the WHL final are to be played in Kent, Wash., on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. They will be televised in the Seattle area by Fox 13+. . . . Meanwhile, TSN has announced that it will show Games 3-7 from the OHL, QMJHL and WHL finals. . . .
The OHL final opened Thursday night as G Zach Bowen stopped 24 shots to lead the London Knights to a 3-0 victory over the visiting Peterborough Petes. F Ryan Winterton had a goal and an assist; he has goals in seven straight playoff games. . . . Game 2 is scheduled for London on Saturday night. . . . Games 3 and 4, both of which are to be televised by TSN, are to be played in Peterborough on Monday and Wednesday nights. . . .
Games 1 and 2 of the QMJHL final, featuring the Quebec Remparts and Halifax Mooseheads, are scheduled for Quebec City tonight and Saturday night. . . . Games 3 and 4 in Halifax, both of which are to be shown by TSN, are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.
The 2023 Kamloops Kidney Walk is scheduled for June 4, and Dorothy is taking part once again. She will celebrate 10 years as a kidney-transplant recipient in September, so the annual Kidney Walk is a big deal for her. In fact, she is participating for a 10th straight year. Yes, that means she is fund-raising, with all donations going to the Kidney Foundation. . . . If you are interested in helping, like maybe pushing her past $4,000, you are able to do so on her home page, which is right here.
The Victoria Royals will be sharing their facility, the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, with the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks for a few days in September. The Canucks announced Thursday that they will hold their five-day training camp there from Sept. 21-25. . . . This will be first time since 2019 that the Canucks have trained in Victoria.
THE COACHING GAME:
Mike Kelly, a former WHL coach, has lost his job as the NHL’s New York Rangers continue to make changes. Kelly joined the Rangers as an assistant coach after Gerard Gallant signed on as head coach. Gallant was fired a few days ago; Kelly was released on Tuesday. . . . Kelly had worked with Gallant with the Florida Panthers and Vegas Golden Knights, and with the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs. Kelly coached the Rangers’ PP, which finished fourth in the NHL at 24.6 per cent over the past two seasons. . . . Kelly was the head coach of the Brandon Wheat Kings for one season (2003-04).
THINKING OUT LOUD — Bob Huggins, the men’s basketball coach at the U of West Virginia, had an annual salary of US$4.2 million that made him the state’s highest-paid employee. But then he had a radio rant that included homophobic slurs so the school knocked $1 million off his salary. Now he’s No. 2 on the state payroll. Who’s No. 1? That would be Neal Brown, the school’s football coach. What? You thought it would be doctor? . . . D Radek Gudas played without a conscience when he was with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips. And he shows even less of one now that he is with the Florida Panthers. But I really want him on my team. . . . RCMP on the Coquihalla Highway near Merritt, B.C., stopped a Washington state driver behind the wheel of an Alfa Romeo on Wednesday. The speed limit is 120 km-h; he was clocked at 262. Yes, 262! Had to have been a Seattle Thunderbirds fan still celebrating from the previous night. . . . If you are watching the NHL series between the Vegas Golden Knights and Edmonton Oilers, I have to ask if you are more tired of the stick work or the WAH? . . . It became apparent on Wednesday night that Vegas D Shea Theodore missed the NHL memo legalizing cross-checking. Edmonton F Klim Kostin gave him three hard unpenalized shots before Theodore responded with a spear to the groin for which he was given a minor penalty. Surely he wouldn’t have retaliated had he known that cross-checking now is a legal ploy. Right?
If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:
Living Kidney Donor Program
St. Paul’s Hospital
6A Providence Building
1081 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6
Toll free: 1-877-922-9822
Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney
Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre
Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9
604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182
Or, for more information, visit right here.