Royals acquire Lees
The Victoria Royals acquired 2000-born forward Tyler Lees on Wednesday from the Saskatoon Blades in exchange for a conditional seventh round 2019 WHL Bantam Draft Pick.
He was originally a fifth round pick by the Blades in 2015 out of the Regina Pat Canadians program. The same season he won the SMHL with the Pats Canadians, he made his debut in the WHL – scoring once in seven games.
Then last year he got into 32 games, notching two goals, adding an assist for three points. Despite being just 18, it seemed like Lees was going to have a hard time earning an everyday spot with the Blades in 2018-19.
With the Royals, Lees should have more of an opportunity as they have lost quite a bit out of their forward group and will likely lose more due to the overage shuffle. He also is one of only a few players who has played center in the WHL. He factors in as a possible second or third-line center for the Royals as the projected depth chart looks now.
The left-handed Lees is from Regina and is listed as 5-foot-11 and 168 pounds.
|Kaid Oliver (00)||Dante Hannoun (98)^||Lane Zablocki (98)^|
|Igor Martynov (99)#||Braydon Buziak (98)^||Dino Kambeitz (00)|
|Andrei Grishakov (99)#||Tyler Lees (00)||Tarun Fizer (01)|
|D-Jay Jerome (99)||Tyus Gent (01)||Alex Bolshakov (02)*|
|Ty Yoder (02)|
The Royals still have to make a couple decisions among the five 1998-born players with Zablocki, Hannoun, Buziak, defenseman Ralph Jarratt and goalie Griffen Outhouse as options.
Victoria selected forward Phillip Schultz in the CHL Import Draft this June and though he has not signed yet, there is some belief that the pick was made due to Grishakov signing to play professionally in Europe.
Victoria made a pick in the draft, which puzzled me since they had Martynov and Grishakov returning. I did some looking and it seems Grishakov has signed to play pro in Russia next year, so he has likely been released although the Royals haven't annouced it – as far as I can see?
— Alan Caldwell (@smallatlarge) June 28, 2018
Fantillo retires from the WHL
Thank you! pic.twitter.com/4kgrb3wBxS
— Caleb Fantillo (@calebfantillo) July 19, 2018
The Blades also lost another forward from their group with the retirement from the WHL by 1998-born right wing Caleb Fantillo.
Fantillo was a sixth round pick by the Medicine Hat Tigers in 2013 and made his debut with them in the 2014-15 season. In 2015-16 he played in 63 games, notching 12 points. Then in 2016-17 he got into five games for the Tigers before being dealt in October to the Blades for a sixth round pick in 2019.
The Coquitlam, B.C. native had nine points the rest of that season and then had 10 points in 38 games as a 19-year-old last year.
Fantillo would have had a hard time making one of the three spots with the Blades having forwards Dryden Michaud, Max Gerlach, Bradly Goethals and Gage Ramsay and defenseman Dawson Davidson as incoming overagers as well. Gerlach, Davidson and Goethals are two of the top-six returning scorers and so will likely be the odds-on favorites to take the three spots reserved for 1998-born players in the 2018-19 season.
We will have to see more movement in that age group for Blades in the coming month or two.
Svejkovsky signs with Vancouver
The Vancouver Giants got 2001-born forward Lukas Svejkovsky to sign a standard player agreement Thursday. Their second round pick from 2016 is the son of Lukas Svejkovsky – a former NHLer from the Czech Republic.
Svejkovsky hails from Point Roberts, Washington – a town on the southernmost edge of the Tsawwasen peninsula. It has the distinction of being in the U.S., yet being just south of Vancouver, B.C. People living there can only reach the U.S. by going across the Strait of Georgia or up into Canada and back down.
Svejkovsky is part of an impressive 2016 Bantam Draft class for Vancouver that includes defensemen Bowen Byram and Parker Hendren, goalie Trent Miner and forwards Aidan Barfoot and Evan Patrician.
He joins a large group of young forwards in Vancouver that have to have new head coach Michal Dyck and new general manager Barclay Parneta excited.
Svejkovsky came up through the Delta Hockey Academy and had 44 points in 22 games, his last year in the CSSHL in 2016-17.
Then instead of committing to the WHL he went to the BCHL and the Wenatchee Wild. As a 16-year-old he notched 11 points in 16 games. Then as the Wild ran through the BCHL playoffs he had a goal in 18 playoff games. He also scored in their Doyle Cup playoff series win and had four assists in five games in the RBC Cup.
Svejkovsky has had a fruitful summer so far as well. He had five points in five games at USA Hockey’s Select 17 Development Camp. His play earned him a spot on the camp’s Team White all star team. He fell just short of making the U18 Hlinka Gretzku U.S. roster.
As a November birthday, Svejkovsky is not eligible for the NHL Draft until 2020.
Links and notes:
-Alexander True’s gamble to pass up his last year in the WHL and try to make a go with the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda paid off. He signed an entry-level contract with the San Jose Sharks this week.
-Ryan Marsh was drawn to the Saskatoon Blades associate coaching job because of the potential of the on-ice talent writes Darren Zary of the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix.
-The Vancouver Giants are moving from TSN to Sportsnet 650 this season. Play-by-play broadcaster Dan O’Connor will stay on the mic for the Giants.
— USA Hockey (@usahockey) July 19, 2018
-Spokane Chiefs forward Jake McGrew will be playing on Team USA Blue when the World Junior Summer Showcase begins in Kamloops, B.C.
-Lots of speculation here on whether an AHL team for the potential Seattle NHL franchise would be right for Spokane and what that would mean for the WHL’s Chiefs.
-Former Brandon Wheat Kings d-man Ryan Pulock signed a two-year deal with the N.Y. Islanders. He had 32 points in 68 games last year for the Isles.
-Former Portland Winterhawks and Calgary Hitmen defenseman Patrick Wellar has gotten a job as an assistant coach in the AHL with the Hershey Bears.
–The Medicine Hat News had a good write up on new assistant coach Ryan Smith and his move over from the Swift Current Broncos.
-Macklemore dropped a new video where he sported a Seattle Thunderbirds sweater. The video brought together odd bedfellows as the Winterhawks joined the Thunderbirds bid to have Macklmore drop the puck at the home opener in the ShoWare Center.
Mr. @macklemore Sir,
You know the best way to relax after your show at @WAStateFair on Sept. 21?
— Seattle Thunderbirds (@SeattleTbirds) July 18, 2018
-Gary Aubin joined the Swift Current Broncos as director of player personnel. He takes over for Jamie Porter who stepped down after he was passed over for the director of hockey operations job in favor of new head coach/director of hockey ops Dean Brockman.