Chiefs trade Adam Helewka to Red Deer Jan 2, 2016 13:04:52 GMT -8
Post by David on Jan 2, 2016 13:04:52 GMT -8
Barely 24 hours into the new calendar year, the Spokane Chiefs stunned the Western Hockey League with a massive trade.
The Chiefs were busy on New Year's Day, sending left winger Adam Helewka, the team's leading goal scorer, to the Red Deer Rebels. In exchange for Helewka, the Chiefs acquired fowards Wyatt Johnson and Eli Zummack, and two Bantam Draft Picks.
The trade comes as a stunner, as Helewka helped to ignite a struggling young Chiefs offense. After returning from an Amateur Tryout Contract with the San Jose Barracude of the AHL, Helewka exploded on offense, scoring 16 goals and 13 assists in only 19 games. Helewka ranked third on the team in scoring with 29 points before he was suspended six games for fighting Tri-City defenceman Parker Wortherspoon after the final horn sounded in a 4-3 loss. He was scheduled to return January 2 against the Portland Winterhawks before the trade.
Spokane General Manager Tim Speltz's statements in the team's press release emphasized that the move was made for building the team's future. “We feel this trade works well for our organization this year and also helps to build for our future,” he said.
The 20-year-old Helewka (6'2'', 205 lbs) from Burnaby, British Columbia, had been with the Chiefs since the 2012-13 season. In a little over 3 seasons, he played in 210 games, scoring 93 goals and 100 assists, including a career high 44 goals in 2014-15. His efforts gained the attention of NHL scouts, as he was drafted in 4th Round of the 2015 NHL Draft by the San Jose Sharks.
In exchange for Helewka, Red Deer sends over Johnson (6'0'', 185 lbs), its 20-year-old Captain. The native from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan has scored 9 goals and 17 assists in 38 games this season. Like Helewka, Johnson's been playing in the WHL since the 2012-13 season, playing in 226 games with 58 goals, 73 assists and 131 points.
Forward Wyatt Johnson, formerly of the Red Deer Rebels, was acquired by the Chiefs.
“Wyatt Johnson is a good leader, exemplified by his role as the Red Deer Rebels’ captain," Speltz said. He will contribute offensively and his drive and competitiveness will help our team in a very tough Western Conference and U.S. Division.'
The other player in the deal, Zummack (5'9'', 161 lbs), hails from Kelowna, British Columbia and was a 2nd round pick by Red Deer in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft. So far this season, Zummack has playeed with the Okanagan Rockets of the BCMML and was a first-team all-star at the Western Canada Under-16 Challenge Cup.
“Eli Zummack is a skilled offensive forward that our scouting staff held in very high regard during last year's bantam draft. "He was taken high in the second round and has had a strong season this year," Speltz said.
The two draft picks Spokane also acquired for Helewka include Red Deer's 2nd Round pick in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft and their 5th Round pick in the 2017 draft.
'The Chiefs would like to wish Adam Helewka all the best with the Red Deer Rebels and in his goal to be a player in the NHL," Speltz said. "Adam has taken great steps in Spokane, both as a player and as a person. We thank him for his contributions and wish him well."
Image Credits: Adam Helewka - SanJoseSharks.com; Wyatt Johnson - Shaughn Butts/Edmonton Journal
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