With Monday’s addition of Connor Gay to the Red Deer Rebels roster, someone had to go.
That someone proved to be fellow right winger Tyler Sandhu, who on Wednesday was dealt to the Tri-City Americans.
The Rebels got a pair of fourth-round bantam draft picks — one in 2016 and another a year later — in return, which is the price they paid for Sandhu in an October deal with the Everett Silvertips.
“You look at our right side and he (Sandhu) was kind of boxed out in that situation,” said Rebels general manager/head coach Brent Sutter. “Sandhu was good for us, he scored eight goals in his time here, but Gay is one of those players who have to play in your top six forwards.
“With this trade we were able to recover what we paid to bring Tyler in. We got two fourths back, which just continues to add to our arsenal, you might say. We have all our (bantam draft) picks back for this year, except for a fifth, and after the first round in 2016 we have multiple picks in the second, third and fourth rounds. That’s huge for us.”
Like Gay, Sandhu is more of a skilled forward who is better suited to playing on one of a team’s top two lines. That was no longer going to be the case with the Rebels.
“From Tyler’s perspective, he’s 18 and he needs to play,” said Sutter. “With the situation here, he probably wasn’t going to dress as much as he’d like. I didn’t think that was fair to the player.”
Sutter said Americans GM Bob Tory initiated the trade.
“Bob called me a couple of days ago. They’ve run into some injury problems and they were looking for an experienced player who can score goals,” said Sutter. “It’s a good situation for Sandy, he just has to go there and take advantage of it. It’s up to him.”
If Sandhu excels in Tri-City, the trade will go down as a ‘win-win’.
“Like with every trade, you want it to work for everybody,” said Sutter. “They (Americans) get a player who can hopefully go there and help them offensively.”
Sandhu, a native of Richmond, B.C., is in his third season in the Western Hockey League. He collected 18 points — including eight goals — in 28 games with the Rebels and has garnered 82 points (41-41) in 148 WHL career games.
l The Saskatoon Blades and Swift Current Broncos exchanged 18-year-old defencemen Wednesday, with the Blades getting Buffalo Sabres third-round NHL entry draft pick (2014) Brycen Martin and a conditional fifth-round bantam draft pick in 2017 and the Broncos acquiring Jordan Thomson and a first-round bantam pick in 2016 . . . The Kamloops Blazers had attempted to acquire Martin in exchange for 19-year-old defenceman Josh Connolly Tuesday, but the WHL voided the trade. Instead, the Blazers sent Connolly to his hometown Prince George Cougars 24 hours later, with six-foot-six rearguard Marc McNulty, also 19, coming back to Kamloops. McNulty was picked by the Detroit Red Wings in the sixth round of the 2013 NHL entry draft . . . On Tuesday, The Moose Jaw Warriors and Victoria Royals swung a three-player deal that also included three bantam draft picks. The Royals sent import forward Axel Blomqvist to Moose Jaw for import defenceman Alexey Sleptsov and goaltender Justin Paulic. In addition, the Royals got a sixth-round pick in 2015 and the Warriors received a third-round selection in 2015 and a fifth-rounder in 2017.