Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Nejezchleb Sent to Americans

Richard Nejezchleb
  The Brandon Wheat Kings have resolved their import situation, dealing 20-year old forward Richard Nejezchleb to the Tri-City Americans for third round picks in the 2015 and 2017 WHL Bantam Drafts.

  Nejezchleb led the team with 32 goals last season and had one goal and two points in the two games he played with Brandon this season, so the club is certainly dealing away a potentially impactful player.

  However, the Wheat Kings are left with what could be the best import pairing in the Western Hockey League in 19-year old forward Rihards Bukarts and 17-year old defenceman Ivan Provorov.

  "The biggest thing that probably pushed us in that direction was the play of Rihards Bukarts, who has been one of our best players all season," said Brandon GM/Coach Kelly McCrimmon, "He's been at or near the top of the scoring race in the Western Hockey League and he is really bringing a lot to our team right now."

  Bukarts is currently third in the WHL scoring race with 25 points (9 G, 16 A) while Provorov is tied for the league-lead in rookie scoring with 19 points, which also puts him third among defencemen in scoring in the WHL.

  Two third round picks is decent (maybe very good) return for Nejezchleb, who is a double spotter in being both an import player and a 20-year old player.

  Brandon was missing their third round pick next year, as it was dealt to Prince George for Peter Quenneville's rights last November.

  "That's what we were looking for were draft picks or prospects.  We weren't really anxious to bring anyone here, we're pretty happy with the group that we have here," said McCrimmon, "The two third round picks are going to have value as we go along as part of future deals or, in the more likely scenerio, use them to draft players."

  Tuesday's deal means the Wheat Kings have 24 players on their active roster (2 goaltenders, 8 defencemen and 14 forwards), and means the club can move forward with that group of players, at least for the time being, without any potential roster distractions.

  "This was something that has been front and center for a couple of weeks since Richard was returned, but even in the 2-3 weeks prior to, guys were wondering might he be returned so that leads to discussion and everything that goes along with that," said McCrimmon, "For our team now, it's one less distraction."

  The Wheat Kings (14-3-1-0) return to action Friday when they host the Saskatoon Blades (7:30 p.m., Westman Communications Group Place).

Chaff..after acquiring Nejezchleb, the Americans placed 20-year old forward Jackson Playfair and 17-year import forward Semyon Krasheninnikov on waivers Tuesday.

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