The Kootenay Ice announced a massive trade via a press release this morning, as they sent captain Cale Fleury to the Regina Pats for 2001-born forward Cole Muir, 1999-born defenceman Jonathan Smart, a second round draft pick in 2018, a sixth round draft pick in 2018 and a conditional second round draft pick in 2019.
Fleury, the team’s captain since January 2017, has spent his entire WHL career with the Ice and played 218 regular season games over the past four seasons, tallying 86 points.
As Kootenay’s top defenceman, Fleury was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the third round of this past summer’s NHL Entry Draft. So far this season, he had four goals and six assists in 17 games.
By joining the Pats, Fleury will have a chance to participate in the 2018 Memorial Cup, which is being hosted in Regina.
“Cale is a tremendous person [and] has been a great player for the Ice… this was a difficult organizational decision,” said Kootenay general manager Matt Cockell in the team’s release. “The Ice thank Cale for all of his contributions on the ice and in the community and wish him well in Regina.”
In exchange for Fleury, Cockell believes that the Ice have added some promising young players.
Cole Muir is currently in the middle of his first WHL season playing 12 games so far. Muir was drafted by the Regina Pats in the second round (33rd overall) in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft.
During the 2016-17 season, Muir played for the Yellowhead Chiefs Midget AAA of the Manitoba Midget AAA Hockey League, where he registered 16 goals and 32 points in 40 regular season games. Muir was a member of Team Manitoba at the 2016 Western Canada Under-16 Challenge Cup, and also played with Team Green at Hockey Canada’s Under-17 Development Camp in 2017.
Smart has 38 games of WHL playoff experience as a member of the Kelowna Rockets and Regina Pats. While with the Rockets, Smart made it to the Western Conference Finals in 2016. Last season Smart played all 23 post-season games for the Pats, who finished two wins away from capturing the Ed Chynoweth Cup.
Smart – a third-year WHL player – has registered 12 points in 21 games this season. He’s amassed 47 points in 132 regular season games in his WHL career.
The Kelowna native attended Toronto Maple Leafs’ development camp in the summer of 2017. Smart was a member of Team Canada at the 2016 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup and played with Team Canada Green at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in 2015.
Smart was selected in the first round (22nd overall) by the Kelowna Rockets in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft.
“Jonathan Smart is a skilled offensive defenceman that will help our power play and be a big part of our success moving forward,” Cockell said. “Cole Muir is a young player that we had very high interest in, he will be a great addition to an exciting group of young forwards.”
The Kootenay Ice’s next game is on the road in Medicine Hat on Tuesday night.