Western Division Trades

by James Talluto

The WSHL Trade Deadline has passed, and the Western Division was involved in some of the biggest moves in the league.  Here’s a look at how each team fared at the deadline.

Long Beach Bombers

Additions: Spencer Kozlowski (G), Matthew Reyes (D), Joel Larsson (F), Lukas Moravksy (D), Melwin Thorsson (F)

Subtractions: Erik Ehrmantraut (F), Tanner Hallett (D), Johnny Hoang (F), Connor Mullins (D), Joseph Wheeler (F)

The Bombers bolstered their roster by adding five pieces at the deadline, all 1997 birth years.  Kozlowski was the first to be picked up by Long Beach, being acquired from the Valencia Flyers.  The two teams completed that trade at the deadline with the Bombers getting Reyes, Moravsky and Thorsson, in exchange for Ehrmantraut, Hallett, Hoang, Mullins and Wheeler.  Also before the deadline, Long Beach signed former Bomber Joel Larsson for the remainder of the season.  Larsson had previously played with Long Beach from 2015-17.

Ontario Avalanche

Additions: David Sovik (F), Kevin Takatch (D), Alec Johnson (F), Angelos Tsalafos (F)

Subtractions: Forrest Chaffee (F), Joseph Aguirre (F), Raymond Beudry (D), Adam Cech (D)

Ontario traded away players, and then filled those roster spots with new signings.  Adam Cech was traded to Oklahoma City, Chaffee and Beudry went to Bellingham and Aguirre is now with the Fresno Monsters.  

David Sovik, a 20-year-old from Czech Republic, was playing with the Connecticut Jr. Rangers this season of the USPHL Premier.  Takatch is a Canadian defenseman coming from the MJHL.  Johnson, a California-native, is returning to the ice after having last played for the Islanders Hockey Club in USPHL 18U back in the 2015-16 season.  Lastly, Tsalafos comes to the Avs having split this season between the OJHL and CCHL.

Fresno Monsters

Additions: Joseph Aguirre (F), Nakita Anistratenko (F)

Subtractions: None

On deadline day, the Monsters found themselves just two points out of the #2 seed and a first-round bye in the playoffs.  They responded to being so close by signing Anistratenko, who had been playing with the Hampton Roads Whalers in the USPHL Premier.  Anistratenko also played for the Monsters last season, putting up 45 points in 44 games.  

Aguirre comes to Fresno from the Ontario Avalanche, who sat right above the Monsters in the Western Division standings at the time of the trade.  The 19-year-old defenseman had 22 points in 32 games with the Avs this season.

Valencia Flyers

Additions: Eric Cotton (D), Erik Ehrmantraut (F), Tanner Hallett (D), Johnny Hoang (F), Connor Mullins (D), Joseph Wheeler (F), Alex Yuk (F), Nicholas Hames (F), Jacob Yoho (D), Derian Theberge (F), Mack Willy (G)

Subtractions: Spencer Kozlowski (G), Matthew Reyes (D), Lukas Moravksy (D), Melwin Thorsson (F), Jakob Kranabetter (F), Nikita Pintusov (F), Christopher Westover (D), Joseph Hebert (F), Jason Hickman (F), Dawson Keay (F), Juraj Housa (D)

The Flyers were busy leading up to the deadline.  They were involved in a blockbuster move that sent Kranabetter, Pintusov and Westover to El Paso in exchange for Hames and Moravsky.  Valencia would later sent Moravsky to Long Beach in the nine-player trade with the Bombers.  The Flyers traded Keay to Colorado a week before the deadline, getting Yoho in return.  After a three-game series in Phoenix before the deadline, the Flyers traded Housa to the Knights for Eric Cotton.  They also sent Hebert and Hickman to Oklahoma City at the deadline.

After trading Kozlowski to Long Beach, the Flyers signed Mack Willy, who has since taken the #1 goaltender role in Valencia.  Valencia also signed former Flyer Derian Theberge and Alex Yuk, who played two games for Southern Oregon last season.

Phoenix Knights

Additions: Juraj Housa (D), Rafael Goncalves (G), Zachary Kowalchuk (D)

Subtractions: Eric Cotton (D)

After a 0-13-2 start to the season, the Knights went 20-10-0 leading up the deadline, and have found themselves in the midst of a playoff race.  Phoenix brought in reinforcements on the blueline, acquiring Housa from the Flyers, as well as signing Arizona-native Kowalchuk for the rest of the season. Both players had previously played for the Knights during the 2015-16 season.   

The Knights also brought in goaltender Rafael Goncalves from Dallas, who will battle for the backup role in Phoenix.

In the Housa trade, the Knights sent defenseman Eric Cotton to Valencia.  Cotton had 18 points in 45 games this season for Phoenix.

San Diego Sabers

Additions: Nick McGee (F), Isaiah Frankel (F), Ryan Lanpheer (F), Jeremiah Levitt (G)

Subtractions: None

The Sabers got younger at the deadline, but not via trade.  San Diego signed four players before the roster freeze.  Nick McGee is the lone 1997 brought in by the Sabers, but might be the most interesting story.  McGee had played with the Sabers last season, but was working behind the scenes and as the team’s play-by-play announcer this season.  He’ll rejoin the Sabers for the final few games of the season.

Frankel is just 16-years-old and was playing for the Rocky Mountain Roughriders in the NAPHL 16U.  The forward from Raleigh, North Carolina is familiar with Southern California, however, playing for the San Diego Gulls 15U in 2016-17.  Lanpheer is just a 2000 birth year, but brings size to the Sabers roster, standing at 6’3”, 170 lbs.  He was playing for the Junior Reign 18U.  Goaltender Jeremiah Levitt is 18-years-old and played for the West Sound Warriors of the USP3HL last season, before the team became a WSHL team this season.

Steven Force is the Western Division Correspondent. You can find him on Twitter @Steven_Force_.