When the Tri-City Americans drafted Jordan Messier in the second round of the 2007 bantam draft, he didn’t envision he would be traded in his final Western Hockey League season.
The 20-year old from Canmore, Alta. was traded to the Moose Jaw Warriors on Tuesday afternoon and although it was a bit of a shock for Messier, he is looking forward to his new team.
"It's always in the back of your head being a 20-year old, but I was glad to go somewhere like Moose Jaw,” Messier said. “I was excited when I heard that."
Messier joined the Warriors on Thursday afternoon for his first practice and was on a line with Andrew Johnson and Torrin White. He arrived in Moose Jaw shortly before the team headed to practice at the Bert hunt Arena.
Despite spending the last four years with the Americans, Messier is not a stranger to this part of Saskatchewan, as he played bantam hockey in Wilcox at Notre Dame College.
"It is great being back in the area. I definitely got some roots here as my uncle is out in Notre Dame right now coaching and working out there,” he explained.
During his time with the Americans, Messier, a 6’2, 190-pound power forward had 77 goals, 86 assists and 224 penalty minutes and a plus-11 rating in 270 games. The Warriors gave up a fourth-round pick in the bantam draft in 2014.
Although head coach Mike Stothers hasn’t spoken to him about his expected role yet with the Warriors, Messier has an idea of what he wants to bring to his new team.
"He hasn't talked that much about my roll, but I want to be a big guy and use my size to play physical and bring my game,” he stated.
For the last two seasons, Messier has had the great opportunity of playing with his younger brother Marcus, who was also drafted by the Americans. The two brothers will be opponents for the first time in their WHL careers when the Americans visit the Warriors on Sunday (6 p.m., Mosaic Place).
"It is exciting. It will be a little bit different seeing him on the other side of the red line, but I am definitely excited to skate against those guys so soon,” said Messier.
With the Americans visiting Sunday and the Everett Silvertips visiting on Tuesday, Messier is hopeful that seeing some of his usual opponents will help ease him into his new team.
"I know the style the teams from the US play and I think that will work to my advantage,” he stated.
Although coming to a new team in his final WHL season was hard to take at first, Messier is looking forward to a fresh start in Moose Jaw and what he can bring to the team.
"It was tough to take. There are a lot of people back there that I got to know over the four years, but I'm excited to start something new here and have a new experience. I'm going to embrace it,” he stated. "I like the group here. There is a great group of guys. It is still early in the season, but I think there's really good potential here."