Just before the holiday trade freeze, the Saskatoon Blades have dealt their captain.
Wyatt Sloboshan is among four players and two draft picks exchanged between the Blades and Spokane Chiefs late Thursday night.
In the trade, Saskatoon gets ’97-born defenceman Evan Fiala, ’96-born forward Markson Bechtold and a conditional 6th round draft pick. Off to Spokane are Sloboshan, ’98-born defenceman Nolan Reid and a 3rd round pick in 2017.
“This is a significant move for our hockey club,” said Blades GM Colin Priestner in a team statement.
“In order to achieve our goals we felt we needed a top-end centre who can play against other team’s best players, and a big, physical defenseman. That’s what we got, and both of these players provide playoff experience and leadership to our group.”
Fiala, from Clavet, Sask., stands an imposing six-foot-four and has two goals and nine points this season.
Bechtold also brings some size and a veteran presence. The 20-year-old has eight points in 13 games after injuries cut his start to the season short.
Because Bechtold is a ’96 born, the Blades have waived forward Kolten Olynek to free up an over-age slot. Olynek had 13 points in 30 games split between Saskatoon and Prince Albert.
“Kolten came in and did everything we could have asked of him and more,” said Priestner. “He’s a great teammate and we sincerely thank him for his work with us.”
Both Fiala and Bechtold are expected to join the Blades in Brandon on Friday against the Wheat Kings.