The Kootenay Ice traded defenceman Bryan Allbee Monday afternoon.

The Kootenay Ice traded defenceman Bryan Allbee Monday afternoon.

Ice remain busy on trade front, ship Allbee to Seattle

Kootenay Ice acquire a fifth-round pick in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft from Seattle Thunderbirds in exchange for defenceman Bryan Allbee

The phone bill in the Kootenay Ice office is going to be mighty big to start 2016 as president and general manager Jeff Chynoweth keeps busy with WHL trade deadline fast approaching.

Chynoweth announced his third trade in less than 48 hours Monday afternoon, shipping defenceman Bryan Allbee to the Seattle Thunderbirds in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft.

“We had nine defencemen after acquiring Ryan Pouliot [from the Red Deer Rebels] the other day and you can’t play nine ‘D’,” Chynoweth said Monday. “We felt, moving forward, if there was any interest in any of our older ‘D’ — 18- to 20-year-olds — we would look at it.

“There were a few teams that had expressed interest in Bryan and we thought it was an opportunity we could not pass up. It gives him an opportunity to go to a really good hockey team in Seattle while allowing us to accumulate another draft pick for the future.”

Allbee, 18, has posted career highs in goals, assists and points (4-6-10) in 40 games with the Ice this season, his second with the club.

“Allbee brings us WHL experience and adds to our team as a puck-moving defenceman,” said Russ Farwell, general manager of the Seattle Thunderbirds, in a team release. “He has played a lot of power play in the past and is a good addition to our group on defence.”

In 88 career WHL games, the 6-foot, 181-pound native of Prince George has registered seven goals and 17 points.

The Thunderbirds (20-14-3-0) sit second in the WHL’s U.S. Division, three points behind the first-place Everett Silvertips (22-12-0-2).

Sunday, Chynoweth dealt 20-year-old captain Luke Philp to the Red Deer Rebels in exchange for overage forward Presten Kopeck, Pouliot, prospect Tanner Sidaway, a second-round pick and a third-round pick, both in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft.

Monday, Chynoweth turned around and flipped Kopeck to the Spokane Chiefs in exchange for 20-year-old forward Riley Whittingham and a fourth-round pick in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft.

Following the trio of trades, the Ice roster holds 24 players, including 14 forwards, eight defencemen and two goaltenders.

The WHL trade deadline rolls in Sunday, Jan. 10 at 12 p.m. (Mountain).