Millar demands more competitiveness at trade
Alan Millar wants his team to be competitive this season.
As the off-season continues, the Moose Jaw Warriors continue to look at ways to improve and get better.
On Monday, they made a trade for 19-year-old defenceman Austin Adam from Everett in exchange for a conditional eighth round pick in the 2015 bantam draft.
“Austin is an intriguing player. I think he is a guy that puts a big body in our lineup,” said Millar. “We like his size and his wingspan and we like his reach. We will look for him to play a big, simple, solid defensive game.”
Adam is a six-foot-six, 200-pound Surrey, B.C. native and was drafted by the Silvertips in the fourth round, 68th overall, in the 2010 bantam draft.
Last season, he had one goal and four points in 50 games. In 127 career games, he has four goals, 11 points and 46 penalty minutes. He also has recorded one point in 10 career playoff games.
“I think his availability opened an opportunity to look at an addition to our backend,” stated Millar. “This is not a move that is going to affect the opportunity of any of our young players that we expect to be on our roster in the fall.”
Actually, this move will have more impact on the veteran group of defencemen the Warriors already have on their roster.
“This is a move about competitiveness within our older group and we feel this gives us some real good depth. If things work out, it may give us some options to improve our team in other areas,” said Millar. “This is about putting a big body in our lineup without a lot of risk and creating some competitiveness in our older guys in the lineup.”
Millar pointed at the challenges the organization has faced in the past two seasons with failing to make the post-season. He hopes this trade will either open up other options for the team and the players.
“We have been open and admittedly discussed the rebuild of the hockey club. At the same time, we have some very good players coming in. We have some good 17 and 18-year-old players and we expect, as in any year — but in particular this year —that depth in all areas is important,” he explained. “We made it very clear to our guys at the end of the year that maybe a year ago, some returning guys or players that were drafted and signed had the benefit of the doubt. That is not going to happen at this camp.”
Millar has been in Vancouver, B.C. at the annual general meeting with other general managers.
He said the Warriors were not actively seeking a trade for Adam, but he likes what he can add to the backend.
“We had some discussions and when a player like this becomes available, it is intriguing for us in terms of his size and how we think he can fit into our backend,” Millar said. “We like our mobility and the guys that can move the puck and play on the power play in Sleptsov and Zalitach and Gardiner coming in and Valentine giving us some good minutes.”
The timeframe for this trade was actually on and off with Everett.
“We have been talking about Austin for some time,” he said. “The discussions came back up in the last week or so. I think it is a fair and reasonable opportunity in terms of the price and gives Austin a new opportunity with our club.”
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