The Virden Oil Capitals made a couple of transactions prior to the trade deadline on Thursday afternoon.
The club wound up acquiring defenceman Jacob Evans (99 born) from the Dauphin Kings in exchange for second year veteran Brayden Pawluk (99 born) and forward prospect Slade Stanick (’03 born).
Evans, an American from Wausau, Wisconsin, is in his second year with the Kings. This year, the 6-foot, 180-pound blueliner has four goals and 12 points in 39 games.
In the club’s second deal of the day, Virden picked up the rights to 17-year-old forward Jesse Mistelbacherfrom the Swan Valley Stampeders for a fifth-round draft pick in the 2019 MJHL Bantam Draft. The WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors, who own Mistelbacher’s rights, would later re-assign him to Virden. Listed at 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds, Mistelbacher had one assist in 15 games with the Warriors this year.
The two trades come after Virden acquired 20-year-old forward Tanner McKechnie from the Swan Valley Stampeders on Wednesday for a player development fee. McKechnie, a Regina product, is a rugged 5-foot-11, 195 pound forward who has netted seven goals and 20 points in 35 games to go along with 57 penalty minutes with the Stampeders this season.
“We’re excited with what has transpired over the last 24 hours-plus,” said Jamie Hodson, director of business and hockey operations for the Oil Capitals. “We’ve added some depth to our team both up front and on the backend.”
Regarding the deal with the Kings, Hodson says it was difficult to let Pawluk and Stanick go but it was necessary to get the deal done.
“Brayden has been a terrific competitor for us and has been his whole junior career. He was a good guy in the room, on the ice, and in our community, so it’s tough moving someone of his character. In Slade, he was a young man who will go on to have an excellent junior career at this level or maybe even higher. But again, a tough move to make. Slade is a quality young man with big upside.”
Hodson says Evans is a quality blueliner who plays a solid game at both ends of the rink.
“He will step into our lineup and will help with getting pucks up to our forwards, while being very cognizant of his defensive zone duties.”
The deal with the Stampeders meanwhile will provide the Oil Caps the opportunity to get a forward in Mistelbacher who will come in and provide some skill and speed up front, Hodson says.
“With Jesse, we get a young man who will relish the ice time he will have here. He’s an offensively gifted guy who has the knack to setup guys and who can put the puck in the net. Again, a great kid who wants to win a championship.”
At the end of the day, when you add up all the deals that were made today and yesterday, the organization is excited about where the club is headed, Hodson added.
“We feel with the added depth, we can take a run at another long playoff, inevitably pushing for a championship.”
Coaching staff happy about new acquisitions
“Jacob (Evans) has good mobility and sees the ice well,” said Troy Leslie, Oil Caps head coach and GM. “He will bring added depth and experience to our defensive core.”
Leslie says Mistelbacher is a talented young player who will compliment a strong group of young players currently on our roster.
“We look forward to getting Jesse into our lineup.”
Tyson Ramsey, Oil Caps assistant coach, believes the club was able to add some key pieces in the deals that were made.
“We were able to add some depth, speed and skill up front and then solidify our backend with a real good defenceman. We’re excited to get our new additions in the lineup and see where we can take this group.”