Andy Devlin

Daily Dose of the Dub: Oil Kings and Broncos make a trade; training camp underway in Portland

Alexander moved to Edmonton

One of the players expected to be leaned on heavily for a young Swift Current Broncos squad has been moved out before the preseason even got going.

2001-born defenseman Jacson Alexander, who was an invite to Hockey Canada’s Hlinka Gretzky Cup camp, was traded on Tuesday along with d-man Chad Smithson and a sixth round pick in 2019 for 2001-born forward Matthew Culling, 2002-born defenseman Chase Lacombe, a second round pick in 2019 and a fourth round selection in 2020.

Alexander was a depth d-man for the Broncos last year when they won the WHL title. He joins fellow 2019 NHL Draft prospect Matthew Robertson on Edmonton’s blue line.

Smithson was a seventh round pick by Swift Current in 2016. He played last year with the Winnipeg Thrashers Midget AAA team, putting up 13 points in 41 games. He had not yet signed with Swift Current.

Culling was a 10th round pick in 2016 by Edmonton and played five games as a 16-year-old with them last year.

Lacombe was a fifth round pick in 2017 by Edmonton and had not yet signed with them. He played 42 games for the Moose Jaw Generals last year as a 15-year-old in the SMHL and put up two points.

Neely Cup starts

Portland was the first team to get their veterans in action as their annual Neely up got started on Tuesday. Four teams named after former Winterhawks Todd Robinson, Marian Hossa, Andrew Ference and Brenden Morrow compete in the first of four days of competition.

In looking at the four Neely Cup rosters there were a few names that might be familiar to fans of other WHL teams.

Let’s take a look at the players at camp.

Signed players who have played at least one game in the WHL (19):


Player Position Year Neely Cup Team Number
Cody Glass Center 1999 Hossa (Blue) 8
Jaydon Dureau Center 2001 Hossa (Blue) 12
Brendan De Jong Defense 1998 Hossa (Blue) 21
Conor MacEachern Forward 1998 Ference (Red) 4
Connor Barley Forward 1998 Ference (Red) 18
Lukus MacKenzie Forward 1999 Ference (Red) 25
Reece Newkirk Center 2001 Ference (Red) 38
Matt Quigley Defense 1999 Ference (Red) 5
Jared Freadrich Defense 1998 Ference (Red) 27
Shane Farkas Goalie 1999 Ference (Red) 1
Lane Gilliss Forward 1999 Morrow (Grey) 9
Ty Kolle Center 2000 Morrow (Grey) 17
Mason Mannek RW 2000 Morrow (Grey) 26
Nick Cicek Defense 2000 Morrow (Grey) 29
Clay Hanus Defense 2001 Morrow (Grey) 58
Jake Gricius Center 1999 Robinson (Black) 14
Ryan Hughes LW 1999 Robinson (Black) 19
Seth Jarvis Center 2002 Robinson (Black) 24
John Ludvig Defense 2000 Robinson (Black) 15

Signed players who have not played in either a WHL regular season or playoff game (12):

Player Position Year Neely Cup Team Number
Kade Nolan Defense 2001 Hossa (Blue) 2
Kurtis Smythe Defense 2002 Hossa (Blue) 20
Lochlan Gordon Goalie 2003 Hossa (Blue) 30
Gabe Klassen Forward 2003 Ference (Red) 16
Dean Schwenninger Forward 2001 Ference (Red) 28
Ryan Miley Defense 2000 Ference (Red) 6
Michal Kvasnica Forward 2000 Morrow (Grey) 7
Cross Hanas Center 2002 Morrow (Grey) 22
Dante Giannuzzi Goalie 2002 Morrow (Grey) 31
Robbie Fromm-Delorme Forward 2002 Robinson (Black) 11
Nick Perna Defense 2001 Robinson (Black) 23
Evan Fradette Goalie 2001 Robinson (Black) 32

The rest of the 49 players at camp are not signed. Of Portland’s 12 picks in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft, all but phenom Chaz Lucius (he has already committed to the University of Minnesota) are present. Of the 11 who are in camp, Klassen and Gordon are the only ones signed so far.

Of their 13 picks they made in 2017, Jarvis, Hanas, Giannuzzi and Fromm-Delorme are signed. Of the other nine, forward Tyson Kozak (won a Bronze at the WHL Cup last year), d-man Ethan Edwards, forward Ethan Leyer and forward Jackson Nieuwendyk are present at camp. Ryan Helliwell, Aidan Thompson, Trey Tayor, Tyler Kleven and Chase Yoder are not at the camp.

Helliwell has committed to the University of Notre Dame, Thompson to the University of Denver, Kleven to the University of North Dakota and Taylor and Yoder have yet to make a commitment to an NCAA school.

Some notable invites that were not picks by Portland include Lucas Cullen, a 1999-born forward who played 51 games over several seasons with the Calgary Hitmen, 2001-born forward Austin Pick who is from Troutdale, Oregon, 2000-born forward Jackson Salt – a ninth round pick in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft by the Lethbridge Hurricanes and 2000-born forward Haydn Delorme – a ninth round pick in that same draft by the Vancouver Giants.

Moose Jaw announces training camp roster

Of course Brody Willms was not on the list, but also missing was goalie Ryan Kubic, who was on their protected list at the beginning of the month.

Another overage goalie was invited, in now former Kelowna Rockets netminder Brodan Salmond.

Barrett Sheen was another notable overage candidate missing from the training camp roster. Salmond, forward Tristin Langan and d-man Brandon Schuldhaus were the only 1998-born players on the roster.

Connor Pyne was another notable player invited. The 2000-born forward was originally a third round pick by the Seattle Thunderbirds back in 2015.

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