The Kootenay Ice added some veteran experience to their roster on Friday, acquiring Zach McPhee from the Everett Silvertips in exchange for a conditional seventh round pick in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft.
McPhee, a 19-year-old forward with two years experience in the WHL, had suited up for the Silvertips 11 times so far this season. Over his career, he’s appeared in 57 games, with 11 points and 42 penalty minutes.
“With our need to add bodies to our roster, we felt Zach would be a great fit,” said Kootenay Ice general manager Jeff Chynoweth. “He is a veteran player who will bring size and versatility to our lineup with his ability to play both centre and right wing.”
McPhee arrived in Cranbrook a day before the trade was officially announced by the WHL, and got in some practice time before the Ice’s triple header weekend.
Things apparently didn’t work out in Everett, as McPhee had left the club to pursue opportunities at the Jr. A level before getting his rights dealt to the Ice.
“It was sad, leaving Everett, but I felt it was on my own terms. I felt like they had a lot of 16- and 17-year-old guys that they wanted to get in and I thought that maybe a trade would be a better opportunity and when Jeff (Chynoweth) called me, it was a no-doubter to come here,” said McPhee.
Kootenay Ice head coach Ryan McGill didn’t waste any time getting McPhee into the lineup, as he appeared in all three this past weekend.
“He [McGill] said I’m going to step into a second-line role right off the bat and that’s what I wanted in the trade and that’s all I can ask for,” said McPhee.
McPhee got on the scoreboard in his first game, wrapping the puck around the back of the net and firing it in front for former Everett Silvertips teammate Jordyn Boyd, who scored for the Ice to open things against the Saskatoon Blades on Friday night at Western Financial Place.
McPhee brings age and experience to the forward ranks, being only one of two 19-year-olds along with Erik Benoit, but he also has more to add to the team.
“I play a 200-foot game,” said McPhee. “I take care of my own end first and then go from there. I’m pretty good on draws and I just try to create room for Boyd and Descheneau.”
It was the second trade in as many days for the Ice, which had dealt away prospects D Kyle Krabben and F Doug Morris—both of who are currently playing in the AJHL—in order to acquire Austin Vetterl from the Vancouver Giants.