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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

BRONCOS, HURRICANES SWING BLOCKBUSTER

Swift Current, SK: The Swift Current Broncos Hockey Club announced a major blockbuster trade involving the Lethbridge Hurricanes ahead of Wednesday's WHL Trade Deadline.

The Broncos completed a deal with the Hurricanes in acquiring Lethbridge captain and 20-year-old forward Giorgio Estephan, goaltender Stuart Skinner and forward Tanner Nagel. In return, the Broncos are sending rookie forward Logan Barlage, goaltender Logan Flodell, forward Owen Blocker and defenceman Matthew Stanley. Lethbridge also receives a first-round and a third-round selection in the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft as well as a future conditional second-round pick in the 2021 WHL Bantam Draft.

A product of Edmonton, AB, Estephan is in the midst of a fine season for the Hurricanes, having recorded 58 points (18g-40a), including 11 power play goals in 39 games. The 6', 195 lb centreman has spent his entire career with Lethbridge over the course of five seasons and has 297 career points (119g-178a) in 297 regular season games. Estephan also brings plenty of playoff experience as he helped guide the Hurricanes to the Eastern Conference Finals last season, tallying 24 points (11g-13a) in 18 games. Furthermore, the 20-year-old was chosen by the Buffalo Sabres in the sixth round, 152nd overall at the 2015 NHL Draft.

Skinner, also an Edmonton, AB native joins the Broncos after spending almost four seasons with the Hurricanes. This season, the 19-year-old backstopper has posted a 14-15-2-0 record, a 3.38 goals against average, a .897 save percentage and four shutouts. Like Estephan, Skinner brings plenty of playoff experience to Swift Current, having skated in a total of 24 playoff games over the past two seasons and collecting 11 wins along with a steady .911 save percentage. The 6'4", 200lb netminder was selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the third round, 78th overall at the 2017 NHL Draft.

Nagel, a product of Mossbank, SK is the final piece coming to Swift Current. The 19-year-old forward has suited up in 35 games this season, amassing eight points (3g-5a) to go along with 40 penalty minutes. Nagel began his WHL career with the Portland Winterhawks during the 2015-16 season and has then spent the last two season with the Hurricanes and he has notched 25 points (14g-11a) in 145 games.
Barlage skated in 38 games for the Broncos this season, tallying seven points (1g-6a) and a shootout goal. The Humboldt, SK native was originally drafted by Swift Current with the fourth overall selection in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft after a strong season with the Humboldt Broncos Bantam AA in which he recorded 125 points (60g-65a) in 30 games. The 6'4", 201 lb forward also participated in 13 playoff contests for the Broncos during the 2017 WHL Playoffs.

Flodell appeared in 35 games in the Broncos cage, posting a 24-8-3-0 record with a 3.07 goals against average and a .913 save percentage. The 20-year-old Regina, SK native has suited up for three teams over his career, including the Broncos, Saskatoon Blades and Seattle Thunderbirds, recording a 72-43-11-1 career mark over parts of five seasons.

Blocker, a 2000-born forward from Oakbank, MB, has skated in 27 games for the Broncos this season and scored his first career goal this year. Originally chosen in the second round, 32nd overall by Swift Current in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft, Blocker played in 71 games over two seasons in Swift Current and registered two points (1g-1a) along with 39 penalty minutes.

Stanley, a 1998-born blue liner from Balmoral, MB played in 40 games this year for Swift Current, registering four assists and 40 penalty minutes. Stanley worked his way up the depth chart after being selected by Swift Current in the 12th round, 248th overall at the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft. The 6'1", 177lb defenceman recorded five assists in 91 career regular season contests to go along with 14 playoff games in the 2017 WHL Playoffs.

The Swift Current Broncos return to action on Friday, January 12th as they get set to faceoff against the Prince Albert Raiders at the Art Hauser Centre. Puck drop is at 7:00pm CT.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Safe to say Swifty has moved all their chips in for a Memorial Cup run, it'll be interesting to see what other moves JP does before the deadline tomorrow, still a few holes to fill in the Pats lineup. Another D-man another sniper and maybe a move for goalie?...we will see!

Anonymous said...

Swift Current Broncos, your Memorial Cup Champion.

Anonymous said...

The Broncos trying to compete with Warriors for the WHL title. Should be an awesome east final matchup!

Anonymous said...

Bucking broncos, what a deal. Your on the clock Moose Jaw to try and stay with them.

william weppler said...

This is going to make the Warriors sit up! Hopefully they meet in the East final - what a series that will be.

Andrew Wiens said...

Wow, this has been the craziest buildup to trade deadline day I have ever seen, and not just because of the prices being paid. Would have never called the McDonald to PA trade in a hundred years and definitely wouldn't have called this latest trade. A couple of weeks ago I thought that the Broncos most likely just add Schuldhaus and maybe a less expensive 19yr old forward. I can't help but wonder how many times Paddock got outbid for players this year, and not just by the Broncos.

Anonymous said...

Funny that when Rod immediately posts news about a huge WHL trade involving a team from Southern Sask...nobody has commented yet. Where are all the D's beaking Rod that "isn't a Regina (Pats) only website...lol.

On to the trade. I love it when sports teams see an opportunity and go for it. Swift knows how deep competition is in the Eastern Division and just what it will take to get out. They also know that the Memorial Cup is being hosted just 2 hrs east. So a great opportunity for them and their fans. As a Pats fan, I would relish seeing either MJ or SC there as the WHL representative. Would make for a fantastic week.

I think they got a great player in Estephan. Not sure about Skinner though. Skinner's save % is under .900...while Flodell's is over .900. Skinner is only 19...so he could and probably will be back next year. Of course SC had to give up the requisite number of picks and prospects to make this deal happen. People talk about the Pats "cupboard being bare" after this year. Well, SC has went all in with 2 major deals. The first Gennaro/Malenstyn deal. And now this.

As far as the playoffs go, and the Pats. 1st Wild Card spot is where they wanna be. Would draw almost certainly Medicine Hat, and would pretty much have almost the identical amount of points. Maybe the Pats might even have more than them.

The 1st seed in the Eastern Division will quickly vanquish the 2nd Wild Card team (Blades). That's what these trades are about for SC. To overtake MJ and capture the 1st overall seed in the East and likely the WHL.

This does a few things. First off, home ice throughout the entire WHL playoffs. Secondly it avoids having to play Brandon in the 1st round of the playoffs. Yes, no matter how you slice it, one of the CHL's top 10 teams will be ousted in the 1st round of the playoffs.

The other angle to all of this too...is if the Pats make it into the 2nd round (honestly, a distinct possibility if they get the 1st wild card)...imagine the opportunity that they then have to oust an SC or MJ in the 2nd round. Thus eliminating any chance of them making it to the Mem Cup. Pats are improving as we speak. They are a veteran group, that made it to the league final last year.

Regardless, will be an interesting couple of days left to the trade deadline. Also, the remainder of the WHL schedule will be interesting given the race in the Eastern Division.

Anonymous said...

Oh man did Swift every get taken on this deal...

Anonymous said...

Eat your heart out Regina. Swift Current is stacking up for the playoffs and all you do is pick up a Cripple from the Saskatoon Blades. Great Management in Regina.

RWAH said...

Annon above if the Pats end in the 1st wild card and play the central division champions they stay in the central division and would not play MJ or Swift until the conference championship (round 3) As it was two seasons ago when they beat Leth and took RD to game seven

Anonymous said...

Swift Current and MJ will DOMINATE not only the east but will DOMINATE the rest of the WHL.As a longtime Pats fan this officially means they throw in the white towel and conceit that their chances of winning the conference are O-V-E-R.Good luck to the Warriors and Broncos in their quest for the Cup.Time for the Pats to move Steel and Henry and build for the future.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like William is finally admitting that the Pats season is over lol except hosting of the cup as a wildcard team at best

Anonymous said...

Actually if the Pats were in the 1st Wildcard spot and won the first round of playoffs, they would STAY IN THE CENTRAL DIVISION. If they won the second round against either Lethbridge or Kootenay then and only then would they revert back to the Eastern Conference for the Eastern Conference championship against whoever is left standing.

Big trade but neither Skinner nor Estephan were outstanding last year when we beat them. Maybe they will be better this year.

More than anything this year it looks like one team trying to out do the other by getting supposedly "name" guys who may or may not be difference makers in the end. Sometimes the best trade you make is the one you don't.

The LP says more trades on horizon. Article on another site says ownership has shut Pats GM down with respect to further trades. That seems utterly ridiculous and if true, wouldn't go over well with GM when he's trying to build a winner. Hope it's not the case.

The Pats have assets and are only two or three players away from becoming contenders to win it all.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that is correct, thanks RWAH above.

If the Pats end up in Wildcard #1, and win the first round they would stay in the Central Division. That is all the more reason to grab Wildcard #1.

Win 2 rounds against inferior opponents...and then you have a chance to eliminate either MJ or SC with NO PRESSURE. And with a veteran laden, playoff experienced team! Win that round, then the Western Conference team (another inferior team) gets a bye to the Mem Cup.

Or just drop to Wildcard #2...and punch either MJ or SC right in the face off the get go!

Anonymous said...

In the WHL playoffs, with the brackets if Swift and MJ both win, they will meet in the second round, correct? The Pats best chance is to finish 7th and go to the Central Division and potentially make the East Final. If I understand it correctly, this year is a great example where the playoff format is unfair if the 2 best teams are in the same division.

Anonymous said...

Nobody is ready to hand Swifty anything lol I love the clowns on here who are already crowning them WHL champs,and writing off the Pats. The playoffs are long and tough on teams and individuals...anything can happen. this is FAR from over for any team in the hunt right now!

Anonymous said...

You mean East Conference Semi Final.... a Huge contender will be out in the 2nd rd.

Anonymous said...

Lifetime Pats fan, but applaud the Broncos on realizing the potential of this team and going ALL IN. We'll see if these high end kids can mesh and become a TEAM....if they can...watch out! Lots of times these teams fail to mesh and play like a bunch of individuals and the team doesn't attain the success they had hoped for. It will be interesting to see....

Anonymous said...

According to some of the ignorants, a good trade by SC guarantees the Pats a playoff spot, a first round defeat for the Blades while the Pats continue onto the second and third round upsetting superior teams all the way to the memorial cup? The Pats most likely finish out of the playoffs.

Andrew Wiens said...

So just a couple of things)
-to the poster who said that Estephan looked subpar in the playoffs against Regina last year: you do realize that Estephan had already played two grueling 7 game series, most of the time with his team missing 3 to 4 major contributors (injuries to Alfaro, Zborosky, and Addison among others). Under those circumstances with his ice time I doubt that any of your Pats would have looked any better. Estephan can play in any situation, he is an elite goal scorer, and the only player in the league who has a better faceoff win percentage than him with roughly the same number of attempts is Glen Gawdin (can't hurt to have arguably the two best faceoff men in the league on the same team)
-to the poster who thinks people are handing the Broncos the Memorial Cup already:
Maybe you should have hung out on this blog last year; I think your fans are a lot better at playing that game than ours. At any rate, thoughtful fans who aren't just interested in trash talking aren't saying that and neither is Broncos management (watch Manny's interview from today - he basically just said that this kind of opportunity doesn't come around very often and now we "have a chance to at least make it out of the first round"
-to the poster who wonders if the Broncos will come together as a team:
Totally agree with your comment - definitely have to wonder what roles various players will now play and how quickly chemistry will develop. I doubt there will be any issue on defence since the situation is now very similar to last year with an obvious top four; only this time the Broncos are going to have a 3rd pairing that can play significant minutes (probably King/Alexander). The forwards are going to be interesting though - guys like Elder, Patterson, and Gable who have been getting top/2nd line minutes are going to need to play new roles.

Anonymous said...

It's over for us Pats fans this season. I think I'll cheer for Swift Current to beat Moose Jaw in WHL East now.

Andrew Wiens said...

Mr Weppler,
Do you still think that the rumour that the Broncos board quashed the Bean trade has any merit? A few things can be said about your comment that the Broncos might not be able to financially withstand 2 to 3 years of drought:
1. They have survived it before: when they traded Cody Eakin to try to restock the shelves from the Chynoweth era they proceeded to loose 13 games in a row and miss the playoffs for the next few years. I was at every game that year, and next year I will still be buying my four season tickets and bringing my kids to every game (even if they don't win a single one) and I know a lot of other people will too.
2. Its hard to build and maintain a diehard fanbase if you never go for it when you have the chance. People in Swift Curent are fed up with being the team that year after year has to look for bargains just so we can get our participation medal.
3. The Broncos were going to take a major step back next year regardless of whether or not they went for it this year. Even without these trade they are still losing players like Gawdin, Khaira, Scissons, Minulin, etc...
4. I don't think the drought is going to be as bad as you or a lot of other people might think. Even with the trades they made over the last month or so their situation in net and on defence is pretty much set. The goaltender of the future is Hofer (which is why they could trade Byrkin and Hein) and the core of the defense is 18 year old King, 17 yr old Reimer (AAA), and 16 yr olds Alexander, Horning, and Spenst (of those players only Reimer hasn't played significant time this year). The forwards are probably the biggest concern of all because Barlage and Stotts were going to be major contributors going forward, but they still have Ben King who probably could have played this year if he were not 15, Hepponiemi who likely doesn't turn pro next year, Regnier, Mole, and some decent returning 20 year olds. They will likely have some decent options for players they can trade at deadline next year to recoup assets (ie Hepponiemi) and that's how the junior cycle is supposed to work.
5. Maybe the day will come when the WHL in Speedy Creek is not feasible, but until then I think the management should play to win not just to survive. Anyway, if the worst case scenario comes to pass and the Broncos are terrible for the next couple of years I have a feeling that they will have some very familiar company, won't they? Unless you can make a compelling case that the Pats are going to be contenders the next couple of years.

Anonymous said...

Eat your heart out slums of the whl, Regina Pats in the 2018 Memorial Cup Championship tourney. You heard that correct, now book it.
Sidenote_ a waste of time making these team player trades Swift, MJ.

Anonymous said...

Great move by the Broncos today they are definitely pushing the buttons to go all in for a push for a Memorial Cup. JP has made some good moves but I certainly hope to God he’s not finished. For the Pats to be considered legitimate contenders they need another top forward and a top goaltender as Brown is ranked 16th in the WHL and that is absolutely pathetic and horrible for any 20 year old WHL starting goaltender. If the Pats are putting their eggs in the basket hoping he’s the one that’s going to carry them they can think and look back and remember 2001 and recall the goalie that backstopped them then? Because history is about to repeat itself in 2018. As the goalies then and now have about the same amount of talent and skilll.

Anonymous said...

This will make it even more funny and sweet when Swift chokes in the playoffs! hahaha