Not too long after the Spokane Chiefs traded 20-year-old Adam Helewka, the team dealt fellow 20-year-old Riley Whittingham to the Kootenay Ice for 20-year-old Presten Kopeck. The Chiefs also sent a 2017 fourth-round draft pick to Kootenay.
Kopeck had just been dealt to Kootenay from Red Deer.
Let's recap the two trades the Chiefs have made:
Wyatt Johnson (20), Eli Zummack (15), 2016 second-round draft pick, 2017 fifth-round draft pick
To Red Deer:
Adam Helewka (20)
Presten Kopeck (20)
Riley Whittingham (20), 2017 fourth-round draft pick
The Chiefs get two 20-year-olds, including a former captain in Johnson. They also got two future draft picks and gave up another. For the 2016 Bantam Draft, the Chiefs have 13 picks overall, including two second rounders (stick tap to @smallatlarge).
It could be a hard pill to swallow for Chiefs fans when Helewka - the team's offensive catalyst - and a fan favorite in Whittingham leave (Whittingham has reportedly refused to report to Kootenay).
The two trades seem to have been made for different reasons.
The Helewka trade allows Spokane to get a veteran in the lineup (who scored 29 seconds into his Chiefs debut) and banked two future draft picks. This trade seems to be building toward the future, as the Chiefs have some promising young players, led by 17-year-old Kailer Yamamoto, who leads the team with 53 points.
The Whittingham trade looks like a depth move, and Chiefs General Manager Tim Speltz said as much in the team's news release.
Kopeck is expected to be in the lineup tomorrow night when the Regina Pats come to town.
Chiefs send goalie Matt Berlin back to Junior A
The Chiefs have carried three goaltenders for much of the season. On Thursday, the team sent 17-year-old Matt Berlin down to the Junior A Drayton Valley Thunder. The roster move leaves the Chiefs with starter Tyson Verhelst and Lasse Petersen - both 1997-born players - on the roster.
In six games, Berlin posted an .851 save percentage.
Chiefs to retire Ray Whitney's no. 14 jersey
In the 30 years the Chiefs have been in existence, the team has never retired a jersey number. That will change on Jan. 29 as the team will honor Ray Whitney and retire his no. 14 jersey.
Whitney played in Spokane for three seasons and won a Memorial Cup with the team in 1991, the same year he posted an incredible 185 points (ah, the good old days).
But my favorite memory of Ray Whitney is when he introduced the world to photo bombing: