Sandhu will play vital role with Americans

It wasn’t the manner in which Tyler Sandhu had planned to celebrate his 19th birthday. Instead of heading out to a movie or restaurant with one or more of his Red Deer Rebels teammates Wednesday, Sandhu was dealt to the Tri-City Americans.

It wasn’t the manner in which Tyler Sandhu had planned to celebrate his 19th birthday.

Instead of heading out to a movie or restaurant with one or more of his Red Deer Rebels teammates Wednesday, Sandhu was dealt to the Tri-City Americans.

“Not exactly the day I had planned,” Sandhu told Annie Fowler of the Tri-City Herald. “I was a little shocked, but I’m excited to be a Tri-City American.”

Sandhu, acquired by the Americans in return for a pair of fourth-round bantam draft picks, will help alleviate an injury bug that has claimed three forwards, all out with upper-body ailments.

“With our long-term injuries, we needed to add a forward to our team,” said Tri-City general manager Bob Tory. “We look forward to Tyler joining our team for our home game Friday against Seattle.”

With the move, Sandhu returns to the Western Conference after being dealt to the Rebels by the Everett Silvertips in October. He also moves closer to his hometown of Richmond, B.C.

“I am familiar with the U.S. Division, but it will be different playing for a different team in the division,” said Sandhu, who spent two years with the Silvertips. “I am closer to home and will get to see my family more.”

The five-foot-10 winger is looking forward to playing a vital role with the injury-ravaged Americans.

“It’s nice to have the opportunity to go out and play my game and help out the team,” he said. “Their fans are passionate. It will be nice to have them on my side.”

Sandhu insisted the Americans won’t be disappointed with his work habits.

“With any team, you have to have work ethic,” he said. “That is the one thing that is important. I’m a player who will work hard. A player who will create plays and be responsible in the defensive end.”

— Leon Draisaitl made a sudden impact with his new team Wednesday.

The German forward scored a goal and added an assist during his debut with the Kelowna Rockets in a 4-2 win over the visiting Vancouver Giants.

“It was a lot of fun,” Draisaitl told Warren Henderson of the Kelowna Capital News. “Of course winning is always a lot of fun, it’s one of the reasons I’m here, because this team wins and I want to win hockey games.

“As a team there was a couple of areas we weren’t too sharp,” he added. “We gave up a lot of chances and it’s something we have to do better next time.”

Draisaitl was reassigned to the major junior ranks by the Edmonton Oilers last weekend and was then officially dealt by the Prince Albert Raiders to the Rockets.

“I thought Leon was really good,” said Kelowna head coach Dan Lambert said. “You can tell he’s a dynamic player and a game-changer and I thought he was extremely good.”

l The Regina Pats, despite being one skater short of a full lineup and coming off a handful of hectic days during which the team dealt away much of its experienced talent, continued their pattern of upsetting ‘top-end’ clubs Wednesday, posting a 3-1 win over the visiting Everett Silvertips.

This season, the Pats have defeated the likes of the Kelowna Rockets, Brandon Wheat Kings (on three occasions) and Medicine Hat Tigers.

“It was a pretty pleasing win,” Pats head coach John Paddock told Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post. “When you have that many changes (it’s not easy). They played really hard. They played pretty darn good. They played with lots of speed and energy.

“You can go out there and make up for a lot of things by extra effort. The mistakes that were going to happen were probably from trying to do too much. The new guys are excited to make an impression. I wouldn’t have been surprised if we played well but to play that good was impressive.”

— Former Red Deer Rebels forward Cory Millette is en route to Seattle.

The Prince Albert Raiders dealt Millette to the Thunderbirds Thursday, getting a sixth-round bantam draft pick in either 2015 or 2016 in return.

Millette was traded from Red Deer to Saskatoon last season and scored 17 goals and collected 34 points in 61 games with the Blades.

He was acquired by the Raiders from the Blades in November and had three goals and one assist in 17 games with Prince Albert.

— Red Deer native Jayden Sittler was traded from the Victoria Royals to the Lethbridge Hurricanes Thursday in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft.

Sittler, 18, is expected to push ‘Canes 16-year-old starting netminder Stuart Skinner for playing time.

“He’ll be able to complement Stuart Skinner; push him in practice as well offer him support as we move forward,” said Lethbridge GM/head coach Peter Anholt.

gmeachem@bprda.wpengine.com

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