Just eight months ago, the Silvertips and Broncos participated in a surprising deal. After selecting Kasper Puutio first overall in the 2019 CHL Import Draft, Swift Current shipped him to Everett 35 games into his rookie season. Additionally, the Silvertips received forward Ethan Regnier. Martin Fasko-Rudas, Parker Hendren, a 2020 first-round draft pick, and a 2022 second-round selection headed to Swift Current in return.
Although the trade involved a lot of pieces, Puutio was by far the most interesting. It’s rare to witness an organization deal the first overall pick in any draft so soon after selecting him. Puutio had little time to make his mark in Swift Current before the Broncos shipped him off to an Everett team preparing for a transition on the blue line.
Let’s take a look at how the deal panned out for both sides.
After a decent start to the 2019-20 season with Swift Current, Puutio settled into his own after joining the much more talented Silvertips. In 21 games, he produced four goals and eight assists while providing stability to the future of Everett’s blue line. He received the opportunity to learn behind established defensemen Wyatte Wylie and Jake Christiansen while preparing to take on a more significant role after their graduation. With the acquisition of Puutio, the Silvertips still look strong defensively for the future.
Of the two players sent to Everett, Regnier possessed the most WHL experience. Amid his third season with the Broncos, he recorded 21 points in 34 games while serving as the team’s captain. Regnier spent a lot of time on struggling teams. That all changed once he joined Everett. In 25 games with the Silvertips, he posted five goals and three assists.
Like almost everything these days, Regnier’s future in Everett is uncertain. He’s set to partake in his overage season. However, the Silvertips have a lot of players in the same situation. Whether he makes the team depends on a few other circumstances and he is essentially “on the bubble” right now.
To Swift Current:
Just as soon as Fasko-Rudas joined the Broncos, he departed. On the same day Swift Current acquired him from Everett, they traded him to Saskatoon. The Broncos dealt Fasko-Rudas to the Blades in exchange for Matej Toman, the rights to Cale Ashcroft, and a sixth-round pick in 2022. Once in Saskatoon, Fasko-Rudas played well, recording 18 points in 23 games. Toman, on the other hand, notched just five points in the same number of games for Swift Current.
Unlike Fasko-Rudas, Hendren played the remainder of the 2019-20 season with the Broncos. Not known for his offense, Hendren recorded two points in 16 games, the same number of points he posted in 38 games with the Silvertips. However, Hendren received more offensive opportunities in Swift Current as his shot totals increased playing for an inferior squad.
For obvious reasons, there is little to say about the 2022 second-round pick. Swift Current selected 14-year-old forward Brady Birnie with the 2020 first-round selection from Everett. Birnie played 31 games for the Regina Monarchs U15 AA team this past season, registering 56 goals and 72 assists. Additionally, he played three games for the Regina Pat Canadians U18 AAA, scoring one goal. Birnie appears to be an intriguing prospect for the Broncos, but only time will tell what kind of player he becomes in the WHL.
Everett receives the win in this deal. Of course, we will have to see what comes of Birnie and the 2022 pick for Swift Current, but it’s difficult to see them coming close to the value the Silvertips got with Puutio and Regnier. The best piece that came Swift Current’s way was Fasko-Rudas and he was sent to Saskatoon immediately.