As far as trade deadlines go, phones around the league weren’t exactly burning up Thursday.
The Warriors made a minor deal with Kamloops a couple of days ago, sending forward Peyton McKenzie to the Kamloops Blazers for a sixth round pick this year.
That was it.
With a shortened 24 game regular season coming soon in the Regina hub, Warriors general manager Alan Millar said it wasn't like there were traditional buyers or sellers this year.
“I think that with the unique season that we’re having, that really when we looked at any moves we made, it was all about finding guys a place to play, complementing our roster,” Millar said. “We want to be competitive in the Regina hub and we think it’s important that we take a step to get ready for next year.”
As we learned earlier this week, Millar will officially begin his position with Hockey Canada as director of player personnel with the Program of Excellence in the coming weeks.
For the hub season, Millar said they are considering the players and the loyalty to their group that’s been with the team for several years.
“We just wanted to balance being as competitive as we could and get our good young players in the lineup and develop,” he said.
The Warriors will still have some turnover from last year’s young roster. Gone are overagers Chase Hartje, Carson Sass and Owen Hardy, while Kyle Crosbie and Cayde Augustine were moved to find roster spots for younger forwards defencemen.
Three of those younger defencemen are 2019 first round bantam pick Denton Mateychuk and Maximus Wanner, a 17-year-old with size and skill, and Lucas Brenton. They’ll learn from veterans Nolan Jones, Cory King, Braden Miller, Cole Jordan and captain Daemon Hunt.
Also, Brock Gould was moved to Portland for a conditional pick while Brett Mirwald will be on the roster full-time along with returning netminder Boston Bilous.
At forward, the team will be able to have the services of 15-year-old Brayden Yager, the team’s 2020 first round bantam pick, for as many games as they need. The Warriors acquired veteran overagers Brad Ginnell and Riley Krane in the extended offseason for veteran offensive presence, and they’ll join returning forwards Ryder Korczak, Eric Alarie, Logan Doust, Calder Anderson, Bryden Kiesman, Cade Hayes, Tate Poppple and Kade Runke. After extended cups of coffee last season, the Warriors will be able to dress promising youngsters Atley Calvert, Josh Hoekstra, Jagger Firkus, as well as 17-year-old list player and recent signing Riley Niven.
“Ginnell comes in as a goal scorer, Riley Krane is a veteran competitive kid,” Millar said. “Those guys are going to make us better in this short season. Riley Niven was a kid that we felt it was best to make the investment in him, get him signed and give him this experience in the hub. All those moves… that was all part of some of the decisions we made along the way.”