The last couple of weeks since the roster freeze was lifted have been eventful. Lets take a look at what each team did over that span and where that sets them up for the rest of the season and beyond.
Now the Western Conference.
Everett Silvertips 32-8-1-1-66 points. They have an 11 point lead for the U.S. Division lead.
Outgoing: (F) Sean Richards (98), Unsigned (F/D) Brendan Williamson (02), second round pick in 2019, third round pick in 2021 and fourth round conditional pick in 2022 to Seattle, Unsigned (F) Sloan Stanick (03), second round pick in 2020 and sixth round pick in 2022 to Regina.
Incoming: (F) Zack Andrusiak (98) from Seattle and (F) Robbie Holmes (99) from Regina.
Analysis: Everett gets a pure goal-scorer in Andrusiak and he has shown that already. He is tied for third in WHL scoring with teammate Connor Dewar with 29 goals. It probably also helps how much Andrusiak has tortured potential playoff foe Portland with 12 goals just this season against them.
They also get Holmes, who is a hard-working player who has some big-game experience. He is another 2018 Memorial Cup participant Everett has acquired after Sahvan Khaira, Max Patterson and Artyom Minulin came over from Swift Current.
Kamloops Blazers 15-20-2-1-33 points. They are two points ahead of Prince George for the second wild card spot. They are also five points back of Kelowna for the third spot in the B.C. Division.
Outgoing: (F) Carson Denomie (00) to Moose Jaw.
Incoming: Seventh round pick in 2019 from Moose Jaw.
Analysis: Overage players Jermaine Loewen and Dylan Ferguson had to be targets of other WHL teams, but Kamloops was content in keeping them. They made some moves that gained them some picks earlier this season and now have five additional picks in the 2020 draft.
Kelowna Rockets 17-19-3-1-38 points. Five points behind Victoria for home ice in the first round and five points ahead of Kamloops.
Outgoing: (D) Braydyn Chizen (98), fifth round pick in 2019 to Brandon, fourth round pick in 2022 to Lethbridge.
Incoming: (D) Schael Higson (98) from Brandon, unsigned (F) Alex Swetlikoff (01) who they then signed from Lethbridge.
Analysis: Kelowna gets a productive overage d-man who was not content in Brandon and they are able to sign a former second round pick in Swetlikoff.
While there were not as many moves made by the Rockets as expected, they know that next season is what they need to build for as they host the 2020 Memorial Cup.
Not trades, but Kelowna no longer has Jack Cowell and Lane Zablocki on their roster and have added overage defenseman Matt Barberis from Vancouver off waivers.
Portland Winterhawks 25-11-3-2-55 points. The Hawks are 11 points behind Everett for the division lead and five points ahead of Spokane for second in the U.S.
Outgoing: (F) Ryan Hughes (99) to Saskatoon, first round pick in 2019, third round pick in 2019, second round pick in 2020, fourth round in 2020, fifth round pick in 2020, first round pick in 2021 to Swift Current, seventh round pick in 2019, conditional second round pick in 2021, conditional sixth round pick in 2021 to Prince George.
Incoming: (F) Josh Paterson (99), second round pick in 2020 and fourth round pick in 2021 from Saskatoon, (G) Joel Hofer (00) from Swift Current, unsigned (F) Bobby Brink (01) from Prince George.
Analysis: Portland found a solution in net with St. Louis Blues prospect Hofer. While they paid a dear price, they get a number one goalie for the rest of this season, all of next and possibly his overage year in 2020-21. Goaltending is something a lot of teams were likely looking at and Hofer was the belle of the ball. He makes them more dangerous come playoff time for sure.
Giving up Hughes is tough as the small but talented forward was producing on the top line as of late, but they do get a bigger player that has some experience digging out pucks and providing a net front presence.
Brink has not signed but if he does, Portland pays a small price for an elite goal scorer.
Prince George Cougars 14-22-1-2-31 points. The Cougars are two points behind Kamloops for the second wild card spot.
Outgoing: Rights to (F) Bobby Brink (01).
Incoming: Seventh round pick in 2019, conditional second round pick in 2021, conditional sixth round pick in 2021 to Prince George.
Analysis: They get a possible three picks for a forward who was added to their protected list. Not a bad haul if Brink does sign with Portland.
Seattle Thunderbirds 13-21-4-0-30 points. The T-birds are three points out of the playoffs.
Outgoing: (F) Samuel Huo (01) to Tri-City, (D) Loeden Schaufler (00) to Prince Albert, unsigned (D) Aidan Brook (03), second round in 2019 and third round in 2020 to Medicine Hat, (D) Reece Harsch (99) to Saskatoon, (G) Liam Hughes (99), eighth round in 2019 to Lethbridge, (F) Zack Andrusiak (98) to Everett.
Incoming: Fifth round 2020 conditional pick from Tri-City, eighth round 2019, (F) Henry Rybinski (01) from Medicine Hat, (F) Zach Ashton (01), fifth round in 2022 from Saskatoon, (F) Keltie Jeri-Leon (00), (F) Michael Horon (01), fourth round in 2019 from Lethbridge, (F) Sean Richards (98), Unsigned (F/D) Brendan Williamson (02), second round pick in 2019, third round pick in 2021 and fourth round conditional pick in 2022 to from Everett.
Analysis: Seattle was the busiest team post Christmas break as they moved for the future, by adding picks and younger players. Rybinski could be a real steal and he will get plenty of playing time on a rebuilding team. Seattle also added goalie Roddy Ross and he has shown a lot so far in his time with the T-birds.
Jaret Tyszka was not moved, though teams were likely calling about his availability as an NHL-drafted (though unsigned) puck-moving defenseman. He has looked good since returning from an NHL preseason injury.
Spokane Chiefs 23-13-2-2-50 points. Five points behind Portland and eight points ahead of Tri-City for second in the U.S.
Outgoing: (D) Tyson Feist (01), 10th round in 2019 to Regina, seventh round in 2020 to Lethbridge.
Incoming: Fifth round in 2021 and eighth round in 2019 from Regina, (G) Reece Klassen (99) from Lethbridge.
Analysis: A strangely quiet deadline for a team that is holding two of the best players in the WHL and a few others who are well above average themselves.
They addressed the backup goalie position in bringing in Klassen and Bailey Brkin has played well enough that they could feel he is their guy come playoff time. He is top five in the WHL in save percentage.
Spokane could also feel like having a healthy Jaret Anderson-Dolan in their big acquisition as he has played in just two games prior to playing for Team Canada at the World Juniors.
Tri-City Americans 20-15-1-1-42 points. Eight points behind Spokane for the three-seed in the U.S.
Outgoing: Conditional fifth round pick in 2020 to Seattle, sixth round pick in 2021 to Kootenay.
Incoming: (F) Samuel Huo (01) from Seattle, (F) Nick Bowman (00) from Kootenay.
Analysis: Not even close to buying in the same way they did last season. Not getting Michael Rasmussen back from the NHL and now losing Isaac Johnson to retirement definitely impacts their production up front. They made some minor moves to help with that.
Vancouver Giants 24-12-2-0-50 points. Tops in the B.C. Division by seven points over the Victoria Royals.
Outgoing: Seventh round in 2021 to Red Deer, (F) Cyle McNabb (00) to Kootenay, second round pick in 2019 and sixth round pick in 2020 to Regina, fifth round pick in 2021 to Saskatoon.
Incoming: Unsigned (D) Nicholas Draffin (01) from Red Deerm (D) Dallas Hines (98) from Kootenay, (F) Jadon Joseph (99) from Regina, (D) Seth Bafaro (00) from Saskatoon.
Analysis: They never really found a replacement for play maker James Malm, who they traded away back in October. They are a stellar defensive team, but seemed to need more elite players up front, yet did not add any. The Jared Legien project didn’t work out and they never found another option over trade. The Giants also waived Matt Barberis after adding an overage d-man in Hines. The defense and goaltending is going to be relied upon heavily come playoff time and they will need the forwards on the roster to come through in tight games.
Victoria Royals 21-15-1-0-43 points. Seven points behind Vancouver for the division lead.
Outgoing: (F) Tyler Lees (00) to Swift Current, (F) Dante Hannoun (98), fourth round in 2019, eighth round in 2019 to Prince Albert.
Incoming: Ninth round pick in 2021 from Swift Current, (F) Kody McDonald (98), (F) Carson Miller (00), third round in 2020 from Prince Albert.
Analysis: Certainly not as many moves as expected. With what they did with Hannoun, in flipping him for another overage player that can help now, it has me thinking they may have been trying to do the same thing with goalie Griffen Outhouse and there were no takers. They still look to have home-ice in the first round and have a team that could surprise Vancouver, should they meet in the playoffs. While not nearly as many as last season, they do still have six 19-year-olds and will have to make more tough decisions over the summer.