One of the quieter teams in the WHL in terms of trades this season made perhaps the biggest acquisition during the 2019-20 season today.
The Victoria Royals, who after a large roster turnover during the summer, had not made a trade since September 11th. That changed in a big way today as they were part of a five-player, six-draft pick trade with the Moose Jaw Warriors which included Anaheim Ducks first-round NHL Draft pick Brayden Tracey coming to the island.
Tracey, 2000-born goalie Adam Evanoff, a 4th round WHL Bantam Draft pick in 2020 and a 5th in 2023 go from the Warriors for Logan Doust, Nolan Jones and Brock Gould and four WHL Bantam Draft picks (3rd in 2020, 1st in 2021, 2nd in 2022, and a 4th in 2022).
Tracey broke onto the scene in a big way last season with an 81-point rookie season as a 17-year-old that netted him the WHL rookie of the year award.
Tracey had a slow start to the season after suffering an injury at the Ducks training camp but has come on like gangbusters since.
He has 15 goals and 23 assists for 38 points in 28 games this season as part of a solid trio with overager Owen Hardy and 17-year-old Ryder Korczak.
The slick and speedy playmaker is ninth in the WHL in points-per-game, despite playing for a squad that is 11-23-2-0 and second-to-last in the league.
Accompanying Tracey from Moose Jaw is 19-year-old goalie Adam Evanoff. The netminder was a 10th round WHL Bantam Draft pick by Moose Jaw in 2015 and has played 78 games over three seasons with them. He was expected to be the number one goalie for the team to start the 2019-20 campaign but had to have offseason hip surgery. Evanoff did not make his season debut until 11/1/19. In 22 games, he has a 3.85 GAA and .901 save percentage on a team that has struggled to defend in its own zone.
The Royals have been a surprise this season, despite losing four of their top five scorers from last season. They have done this with solid goaltending, defense, and timely scoring. They are currently second in the B.C. Division and fourth in the Western Conference at 22-13-2-0 despite only scoring 94 goals over 37 games, which is the third-fewest in the West.
Brock Gould heads to the Warriors after playing in 15 games this season and posting a 2.81 GAA and .899 save percentage. He spelled Shane Farkas who has held down the Royals net with the fifth-best GAA in the WHL at 2.20.
He is joined by two 2001-born players, forward Logan Doust and defenseman Nolan Jones.
Doust, who broke into the league with the Saskatoon Blades, had two goals and seven assists for nine points for the Royals this season, while Jones potted one goal and five assists for six points from the blue line. Jones was acquired from the Lethbridge Hurricanes as part of a trade for forward Dino Kambeitz.
The Royals still maintain their first-round pick in the 2020 draft and a third- and fourth-rounder among others. They no longer have a first-round pick in 2021 now though after acquiring one from Saskatoon as part of the Eric Florchuk trade two years ago and dealing one to the Brandon Wheat Kings as part of the Tanner Kaspick two days later. This trade leaves them with none in that draft.
This trade for Moose Jaw comes just three days after head coach Tim Hunter was removed as head coach and replaced with associate coach Mark O’Leary.