Brandon, MB. – The Brandon Wheat Kings have completed a blockbuster Western Hockey League trade on the eve of the Western Hockey League Trade Deadline.
Wheat Kings’ general manager Kelly McCrimmon has announced the acquisition of 19-year old all star center Kevin Sundher from the Victoria Royals in exchange for 18-year old defenceman Jordan Fransoo, 17-year old left-winger Dakota Conroy and a 1st round pick in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft.
A third round draft choice (75th overall) of the National Hockey League’s Buffalo Sabres, the Surrey, B.C. native is currently seventh in the WHL scoring race with 22 goals and 64 points in forty games with the Royals. The seventh overall selection in the 2007 Western League Bantam Draft, Sundher arrives in Brandon having scored 90 goals and 240 points in 254 career games.
In addition to being the Royals' (Chilliwack Bruins) franchise scoring leader, the 6’ 192 lb. Sundher is second in games played, three behind Jeff Einhorn’s 257.
“It’s been a crazy day,” says Sundher, who signed an NHL Entry Level contract with the Sabres earlier this season. “The team was just heading out for the prairies and I was pulled off the bus and told about the trade. I play to win and I'm looking forward to joining a team that has a chance to go far."
“Kevin is a dynamic offensive player, who possesses great speed,” says McCrimmon. “We feel that this acquisition will really have an impact on our team...he will complement our top players well.”
A seventh round draft choice of the Ottawa Senators, Fransoo was in his second season with the Wheat Kings. In 41 games this season, the North Battleford product had two goals and 11 points. In 104 career games in Brandon, the 6’3” 190 lb blueliner has eight goals and 29 points, while accumulating 105 minutes in penalties.
A third round bantam draft choice of the Wheat Kings in 2009, Conroy has four goals and eight points in 37 games in this, his rookie season in the WHL.
“In Fransoo, we dealt from a position of strength...we need to open up ice time for both Ayrton (Nikkel) and Dylan (Kuczek),” says McCrimmon. “Dakota is a good young player that we were very reluctant to include in this deal. We project that he will develop into a top six forward in our league. We wish both players good luck in Victoria.”
"With the first round pick, we were fortunate to have both our own and Saskatoons from last year's Brayden Schenn deal," said McCrimmon.
Sundher hopes to arrive in Brandon on Tuesday and the Wheat Kings plan to have him in the lineup on Wednesday when they kick off a 3-game home stand against the visiting Saskatoon Blades. The WHL Trade Deadline is 4pm CST Tuesday.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)