Tribe weren’t interested in dealing 19-year-old forwards
Friday the Moose Jaw Warriors settled their roster for the rest of the season.
Moose Jaw Warriors
In doing so they also gave a vote of confidence to their 20-year-olds for next season.
After dealing 19-year-old defenceman Travis Brown to Victoria Monday and acquiring 18-year-old defenceman Spenser Jensen a week ago, the phone of Warriors general manager Alan Millar was pretty quiet leading up to Friday’s 1 p.m. Western Hockey League trade deadline.
One of the big reasons was that the Warriors weren’t willing to deal any of their 19-year-old forwards: Tanner Eberle, Jack Rodewald or Scott Cooke.
“Our 19-year-olds were not on the market and never were,” said Millar. “We had a lot of inquiries about certain 19-year-olds, but we just never went down that path. We’re happy with those guys and we feel we’re in good shape for 20-year-olds next year.
In consecutive seasons the Warriors have traded to try to fill their overage roster spots and have had mixed results at best. This season Todd Fiddler failed to produce in a brief stay, while Erik Benoit also wasn’t in Moose Jaw long. Last season Jordan Messier failed to get anywhere near his career highs in goals or points.
“We’ve gone through a couple of years where we haven’t had an abundance of 20-year-olds and we were trading for 20-year-olds,” said Millar.
“We think that the potential of our 20-year-olds bring us size, grit, character and leadership next year. You want your 20-year-olds to have some understanding of your environment, your expectations and what the standards are to play here. We feel we have that.”
The Warriors retained current overagers Sam Fioretti and Jesse Forsberg and Stothers thinks they will be a positive influence on their younger teammates.
“The development of your team comes from the moves you make, but also how you play for the rest of the year. I think our young guys benefit from us being competitive each game,” said Millar.
“The deal that we thought we needed to do to benefit our hockey club in the future was really done with the Jensen transaction and the Brown transaction. We didn’t really feel that unless prices were right for our team that we needed to do anything else.”
The Warriors were happy with their return for Brown: 15-year-old centre Noah Gregor who is third in scoring in the Alberta midget AAA league, a pair of third round picks and a conditional pick.
Millar was satisfied with their deals in the week leading up to the deadline. He felt they accomplished their goal of getting younger and adding a roster player with the Jensen trade — which cost them third and sixth round picks and a conditional pick. Jensen had asked for a trade from Medicine Hat and Millar noted that trying to add younger prospects currently in the league wasn’t feasible.
“That’s almost an impossible task to accomplish. There are very few 16 or 17 year old players traded in our league. For the most part those players are moved because of circumstances — they want to be moved,” said Millar. “For the most part, the general managers in our league are committed to their young players who are in high school and they don’t move those guys.
“It goes beyond what people see on the ice. There’s an integrity factor to not trading young players like that.”