Prior to game action on Wednesday evening, the Moose Jaw Warriors traded for some more veteran defensive help.
Jesse Forsberg, a 20-year-old defenceman from the Seattle Thunderbirds is on his way to Moose Jaw after the Warriors traded for him.
“We’ve always liked Forsberg,” said Warriors general manager, Alan Millar. “We feel he plays the game the right way. He is a real competitor, he plays hard, he is gritty and will bring some character and leadership to our team.”
The Waldheim 6’1, 212-pound native played 66 games with the Thunderbirds last season, scoring five goals and 26 points.
“I think he can contribute a little, but we expect him to play hard and play against the other teams’ best players and be physical. We want him to bring leadership and character,” said Millar. “He is coming home, so he is really excited about that and I just think it is a good fit at this time.”
The pickup was also a combination of a need and the possibility that the Warriors may not be getting defenceman Morgan Rielly back this year. Rielly is currently with the Toronto Maple Leafs. As a 19-year-old, he can play nine games and then be sent back to junior without burning a year of his entry-level deal. However, Rielly could stay with the Leafs for the majority or all of the season if they choose to keep him up in the National Hockey League.
“I don’t think it is all solely based on Morgan’s situation. I think we were in the market to add some depth back there and we have been in a market to add some size and grit to our lineup,” explained Millar. “Size and grit and things we believe can help our lineup and we just felt that the way our backend is, we needed a piece back there.”
The Warriors now have four 20-year-olds on their roster — Sam Fioretti, Todd Fiddler, Zach Hodder and now Forsberg. Teams must only carry three throughout the season with the deadline next week.
“We have options to consider and we will sit down with the coaches and decide what our options will be,” said Millar.
The Warriors sent Seattle a third round pick in the 2015 WHL Draft for Forsberg.
Forsberg began his WHL career in Prince George and spent the majority of his time with the Cougars. In 238 career games, he has scored 14 goals, 72 points and 490 penalty minutes.
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