Kootenay Ice trade Jeff de Wit to Victoria Royals for sixth-round pick

Team gives up veteran forward acquired earlier this season for future pick in WHL Bantam Draft

The Kootenay Ice didn’t wait long after the Christmas break to get back to business. On Wednesday afternoon, the day after Boxing Day, general manager Matt Cockell announced that the team had traded forward Jeff de Wit to the Victoria Royals for a sixth-round draft pick in 2019.

The 19-year-old forward was acquired by the Ice in early October from the Regina Pats in exchange for 1999-born forward Tanner Sidaway and a seventh-round draft pick in 2018.

In 15 games with Kootenay, de Wit had two goals and four points. Originally drafted 14th overall in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft, he played two-and-a-half seasons with his hometown Red Deer Rebels before being sent to the Pats for a season-and-a-half, which included a lengthy playoff run to the WHL Finals in 2017.

In 226 career games, de Wit has recorded 58 points, including five power play goals, one short-handed goal and a game-winner.

“We would like to thank Jeff for his time with the Ice and wish him the best of luck in Victoria,” Cockell said in a press release. The trade was his 16th transaction since taking over the club’s hockey operations in May.

The Ice, along with all 21 other teams in the WHL, will return to action following a week of rest tonight. Kootenay host the Calgary Hitmen at Western Financial Place in a second straight home-and-home series. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the two teams meet again at the Scotiabank Saddledome at the same time the following night.

While the Ice will be without defenceman Martin Bodak, who is serving as the captain of Team Slovakia at the 2018 World Junior Championships in Buffalo, New York (and playing Canada at 5 p.m. tonight), they will see the return of forward Gilian Kohler, who did not make the Swiss national team after attending their selection camp.

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