As the WHL deadline looms, the Kootenay Ice have made a deal to send defenceman Mike Simpson to the Lethbridge Hurricanes for a fifth round pick in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.
Simpson, a 18-year-old who has been in Kootenay system since getting selected in the sixth round of the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft, will join the Hurricanes immediately.
In return, the Ice get their fourth fifth-round selection for this year’s bantam draft. Kootenay also has one selection in the first, second and third rounds.
Lethbridge initiated the conversation on Tuesday, as they were looking for a depth defenceman, according to Ice general manager Jeff Chynoweth.
“They were looking to add a depth defenceman and they asked about Mike and from there we went back and forth,” said Chynoweth. “I think they had a couple other deals on the table that they had to wait on to see if they were in the running or not, and so we got it done this [Wednesday] morning.”
Simpson’s departure leaves the Ice with five defence men—six if you count Jeff Hubic, a defenceman who has moved up into the forward ranks and is playing a fourth-line role on the left wing.
Hubic could drop back down to the defensive corps, which could open up a spot up front, as the Ice currently carry 13 forwards—14 if you include Hubic in the equation.
“If we can, we’d like to add another defenceman, but depth defencemen are tough to come by, and we’ll do whatever we can to get another defenceman in by tomorrow [Thursday],” added Chynoweth.
Simpson, from SAbbotsford, B.C., had his rookie season with the Ice last year, and returned for his sophomore year this season.
He’s played a total of 96 games in the WHL, with five points and 103 penalty minutes.
WHL trade deadline ends at 3 p.m. on Thursday afternoon in the Mountain Time Zone.
WHL NOTES: Vancouver dealt overage forward Trevor Cheek to Edmonton on Wednesday for a second round draft pick, and sent Stewart Coyle (17) to Spokane for a sixth round pick in 2016.
Edmonton also traded Klarc Wilson to Prince George for a third rounder in 2014.