T-Birds jolt the roster

Flurry of deals: goalie Hughes, Andrusiak traded as WHL team fills needs, gains prospects and draft picks

  • Thursday, January 3, 2019 4:33pm
  • Sports

The Seattle Thunderbirds are shaking things up.

The Western Hockey League club made a flurry of trades this week.

The T-Birds acquired center/right wing Keltie Jeri-Leon, prospect center/left wing Michael Horon and a fourth-round pick in the 2019 Bantam Draft from the Lethbridge Hurricanes for goalie Liam Hughes and an eighth-round pick in the 2019 draft.

“Having to trade Liam was a tough decision,” general manager Bil La Forge announced Tuesday. “We know he will do well in Lethbridge, and we wish him the best of luck.”

Jeri-Leon, born in 2000, has five goals and nine assists in 30 games with the Hurricanes this season. Jeri-Leon has 15 goals and 17 assists in 130 games over three seasons in the WHL with the Hurricanes, Kamloops Blazers and Tri-City Americans.

Hughes has played 29 games this season for the T-Birds and has a 10-16-3-0 record with a 3.67 goals-against average and a .899 save percentage. In 72 career WHL games with the T-Birds and Edmonton Oil Kings, Hughes has a 27-32-10-1 record with a .903 save percentage and 3.37 goals-against average.

Other deals

The T-Birds sent right wing Zack Andrusiak to Everett in exchange for left wing Sean Richards, the rights to forward Brendan Williamson, a second-round pick in the 2019 draft, a third-round pick in the 2021 draft and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2022 draft.

Andrusiak, a 20-year old, had 27 goals and 12 assists in 34 games this season with the T-Birds.

Richards, a 20-year-old, had 10 goals and eight assists in 27 games this season with the Silvertips. In 212 career WHL games with the Silvertips and Regina Pats, he has 41 goals and 67 assists.

Seattle also signed goalie Roddy Ross to a WHL standard player agreement with the team.

The 6-foot-4, 180-pound Ross, born in 2000, appeared in 22 games and had a 2.94 goals against average and .920 save percentage with the Camrose Kodiaks in the AJHL.

Last season Ross played 22 game with the Tisdale Trojans in the SMHL and had a 1.85 goals against average and .940 save percentage.

Seattle acquired defenseman Zack Ashton and a fifth-round pick in the 2022 draft from the Saskatoon Blades for defenseman Reece Harsch.

Ashton, born in 2001, has played nine games this season with the Blades and has one assist. Last season he played 35 games for the Calgary Buffaloes Midget AAA team in the AMHL and had five goals and 26 assists for 31 points. Ashton was selected by the Blades in the third round, 50th overall, in the 2016 draft.

This season Harsch has two goals and eight assists for 10 points in 28 games. In 149 games over three seasons, Harsch has 15 goals and 32 assists for 47 points.

On the ice

The T-Birds – on a six-game losing streak – begin a six-game road trip to the East Division on Friday, Jan. 4, against the Brandon Wheat Kings at 5:30 p.m. They will play the Regina Pats at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6. The road trip continues against the Saskatoon Blades on Tuesday, Jan. 8, and the Prince Albert Raiders on Jan. 9. The last two games on the road trip are Friday, Jan. 11, against the Moose Jaw Warriors and Saturday, Jan. 12 against the Swift Current Broncos.

The T-Birds’ next home game is Saturday, Jan. 19, against the Victoria Royals at 6:05 p.m. at the accesso ShoWare Center.

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