Josh Paterson dealt to Portland Winterhawks by Saskatoon Blades
It’s been a season full of wheeling and dealing for the Saskatoon Blades, but despite all the moves they’ve already made the team didn’t let Thursday’s WHL trade deadline pass quietly.
The Blades and the Portland Winterhawks made a deal involving two top-six forwards.
Saskatoon sent 19-year-old centre Josh Paterson to the Hawks, along with a second round selection in the 2020 bantam draft and a fourth round pick in 2021.
In exchange the Blades receive fellow 19-year-old Ryan Hughes, who has 40 points in 36 games with the Winterhawks this season.
The Edmonton native brings speed, skill and perhaps most importantly playoff experience to a team looking to make a strong post-season push this spring.
“To acquire a player with the speed and skill that Ryan possesses, along with 27 games of playoff experience was big for us and for our coaching staff,” said Blades general manager Colin Priester.
There’s always a price to pay for a top-end player and parting with Paterson was not easy for the Blades front office.
The Edmonton native is the first player Priestner ever drafted back in 2014 and has spent 246 games in a Blades uniform.
An intelligent and well-respected presence in the locker room, Paterson will now take those qualities to Portland.
“Josh was the first player I ever drafted and him signing with us when we were an unproven young team was a big deal for us, and I’ll always be grateful to Josh for that,” Priestner said.
“Both players are going to really good situations. I would not have done (the trade) if it wasn’t a great situation.
“These deals are never easy to make but we’re very excited to add Ryan to our group and we’re looking forward to seeing him on the ice this weekend.”
With the deadline over and done with the, Blades can look ahead to the rest of the season knowing exactly what their lineup looks like.
The roster has changed significantly since the season started, with eight players leaving via trade and another two being released.
Seven new players have come on board during that time, and the end result is a team with a lot more playoff experience that’s more suited to the style of play favoured by head coach Mitch Love.
The Blades are back in action at home on Friday when they take on the Regina Pats.
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