Monday, January 4, 2016

Blades and Wheat Kings Swing Deal

Brandon, MB. – With the Western Hockey League Trade Deadline fast approaching the Brandon Wheat Kings and Saskatoon Blades have completed a multi-player trade.

Wheat Kings’ General Manager and Head Coach Kelly McCrimmon has announced the acquisition of 20-year old defenceman Mitchell Wheaton and 17-year old blueliner Schael Higson from the Saskatoon Blades in exchange for 18-year old forward Braylon Shmyr and overage defenceman Colton Waltz.

Brandon also receives a second round pick in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft.

A member of the WHL Champion Kelowna Rockets last season, the 6’5” 223 lb Wheaton was chosen by the Detroit Red Wings in the fifth round of the 2013 National Hockey League Draft. In 38 games with the Blades this season, the Sherwood Park, Alberta product has ten assists and 50 minutes in penalties. In 138 career WHL games, Wheaton has eight goals, 47 points and 121 minutes in penalties.

Higson meanwhile is in his second WHL season after a playing midget hockey with the Grande Prairie AAA Storm during the 2013-14 season. In thirty three games this season, the 6’0 210 lb Grande Prairie native has three goals, 5 points and 32 penalty minutes. In 90 career games, the former Okanagan Hockey Academy bantam has scored six goals, 12 points and 80 minutes in penalties.

Both are expected to join the WHL club in time for this Friday’s game against the visiting Prince Albert Raiders. Brandon currently leads the second place Raiders by two points in the Eastern Division.

"This move was to address our blue line and add depth,” says McCrimmon. “As well, we acquire a high pick which will have value for us."

 A former first round bantam draft choice of the Wheat Kings, Shmyr has eight goals and 16 points in 28 games this season and during his three years in Brandon, the Calgary product has 29 goals and 66 points in 128 games. Waltz is in his fourth and final WHL season.

The WHL Trade Deadline is this Sunday, January 10th.


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