Thursday, January 9, 2014

West Kelowna Moves Defenceman Taylor Graham to AJHL's Spruce Grove Saints:



With the addition of Nathan Craft from Langley earlier this week, the West Kelowna Warriors were one player over the roster limit of 22 so we knew GM and Head Coach Rylan Ferster wasn't done making moves before tomorrow's deadline.

Today word came down that the Warriors sent 20-year-old defenceman Taylor Graham to the Spruce Grove Saints of the Alberta Junior Hockey League for 18-year-old forward Devon McAndrews and future considerations.

West Kelowna's roster now sits at 22, so I don't expect to see McAndrews in the BCHL any time soon. Plus, the Edmonton product is still on the roster of the Tri-City Americans of the WHL. He started the season with Spruce Grove and was brought up by the Ams back in October.

If I were to wager a guess as to why his CJHL rights were included in the deal, my bet is that the actual deal sees Graham moved to Spruce Grove for cash. If a player is traded to a team outside of BC for solely financial considerations, then he has to clear BCHL waivers and based on the market for veteran defencemen over the past week, chances are Graham wouldn't have cleared. The inclusion of McAndrews' rights meant Graham didn't have to be placed on BCHL waivers for the trade to happen. It's not the first time a trade has happened this way and it certainly won't be the last.

However, I should mention that I'm just speculating and perhaps we may see McAndrews play in the BCHL this season or next. After all, the WHL Trade Deadline is tomorrow as well.

To West Kelowna Warriors:
F Devon McAndrews (95) + Future Considerations

To Spruce Grove Saints:
D Taylor Graham (93)


Here's the release from the Warriors on this move, and their others leading up to the deadline:

A day ahead of the 2014 BCHL trading deadline, West Kelowna’s roster is set.

 The Warriors added a veteran presence to their blue-line and some grit to the forward corps, as Head Coach / GM Rylan Ferster put the finishing touches on his team.

Ferster began by acquiring ‘free-agent’ Ryan Fraser-Lee (’93 D).  Fraser-Lee won a BCHL championship with Surrey last year and had nine points in 23 games this before being released by the Eagles (partly due to injury).

West Kelowna then traded (’94 D) Zane Schartz and future considerations to Trail in exchange for (’93 D) Braden Pears.

A veteran of 223 BCHL games, Pears will finish his junior career with the Warriors after previous stops in Powell River, Salmon Arm, and Trail, as well as brief stints in Victoria and Coquitlam.

“He’s an offensive, puck-moving guy” says Ferster of the Victoria native, acknowledging the key role Pears has played for the Smoke Eaters so far this year.

The Warriors also added some truculence to the forward group, acquiring (’94 F) Nathan Craft from Langley for future considerations.

Originally from Kitimat, Craft had 19 points and 64 penalty minutes with the Rivermen this year.

“He gives us an element of physicality and a guy who’s going to be difficult to play against down the stretch.”

A final move saw the Warriors deal (’93 D) Taylor Graham to the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints, in exchange for the CJHL playing rights to Tri-City Americans forward Devon McAndrews.

McAndrews is not expected to play in the BCHL this year, while Brennan Clark will remain on injury reserve for the remainder of the year.

Time will tell if these are the right moves” Ferster says of the changes.  “We added two 20 year-old defencemen with some good experience and a forward who’s difficult to play against.”

“We won’t know until the end of the year where we’re at, but feel we’ve upgraded in some areas.”


BCHL TRADE TRACKER (since Dec. 1)

09-Jan-14: West Kelowna acquires F Devon McAndrews (95) and future considerations from Spruce Grove for D Taylor Graham (93).
08-Jan-14: Nanaimo acquires D Shay Laurent (93) from Chilliwack for future considerations.

08-Jan-14: Coquitlam acquires D Mark Whiteley (93) from Salmon Arm for future considerations.

08-Jan-14: Victoria acquires F Travis Stephens (93) from Trail for future considerations.

07-Jan-14: Nanaimo acquires F Luke Sandler (93) from Surrey for future considerations.

07-Jan-14: West Kelowna acquires F Nathan Craft (94) from Langley for future considerations.

07-Jan-14: West Kelowna trades D Zane Schartz (94) to Trail for D Braden Pears (93) and future considerations.

07-Jan-14: Alberni Valley acquires F Mitch Owsley (93) from Whitecourt for future considerations.

06-Jan-14: Chilliwack trades F Austin Plevy (94) to Brooks for F Mason Boh (95) and future considerations.

06-Jan-14: Surrey trades F Brett Mulcahy (93) to Vernon for F Chase McMurphy (94) and future considerations.

05-Jan-14: Chilliwack trades D Cooper Rush (93) to Prince George for D Caleb Thompson (94) and future consideration.

04-Jan-14: Penticton trades F Anthony Conti (95) and future considerations to Surrey for F Nic Pierog (93).

03-Jan-14: Vernon trades D Jason Bird (93) and future considerations to Merritt for D Dylan Chanter (95).

03-Jan-14: Coquitlam acquires F Brendan Lamont (94) from Penticton for F Mike Rebry (93).

10-Dec-13: Cowichan Valley acquires F Alexis Guilbault (95) from C├ęgep de St-Hyacinthe for future considerations.

10-Dec-13: Cowichan Valley trades F Ambrose Firkus (94) to Okotoks for F Taylor Allan (95) and future considerations.

01-Dec-13: Cowichan Valley trades D Taki Pantziris (93) to West Kelowna for F Ambrose Firkus (94).

01-Dec-13: Penticton trades D Matthew Berry-Lamontagna (93), D Clint Filbrandt (95) and future considerations to Cowichan Valley for F Steen Cooper (95).

01-Dec-13: Coquitlam trades D Matthew Berry-Lamontagna (93) to Penticton for future considerations.

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Trades Made: 18
Trades Made Within BCHL: 13
Trades Made With Teams Outside BC: 5
Players: 30
Future Considerations: 17

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