Saturday, August 22, 2009

Aaron Ness' WHL rights traded to Brandon

Press Release

Brandon, Manitoba – The Brandon Wheat Kings have dealt 18-year old goalkeeper James Priestner and a fifth round draft choice to the Prince George Cougars in exchange for a third round bantam draft pick in 2011 as well as the playing rights to 19-year old defenceman Aaron Ness of the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers.

The fifth round pick in 2011 is conditional on Ness reporting to the Wheat Kings.

Obtained from Kamloops last October, Priestner appeared in 28 games for the Wheat Kings in 2008-09, compiling a 17-7-1-1 record, a 3.08 goals against average and an .883 save percentage.

A second round draft choice of the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders, Ness is entering his second season with the Gophers after an outstanding high school career that saw him capture the Minnesota Mr. Hockey Award in 2007-08.

Friday’s announcement leaves 19-year old Andrew Hayes as Brandon’s only veteran netminder on its current roster. A 19-year old Sherwood Park, Alberta native, Hayes is coming off a solid season with the Wheat Kings, compiling an impressive 30-11-2-1 record, a 2.84 goals against average, a .901 save percentage and three shutouts.

The former third round bantam draft choice has six shutouts in his first two WHL seasons, leaving him in a tie for fifth place on the club’s all time list.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

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