Lakers make pair of trades

Lucas Punkari

Having talked about the need to improve his team’s blueline over the last few weeks, Fort Frances Lakers’ general manager/head coach Wayne Strachan went about doing just that yesterday, completing a pair of transactions that brought in two defencemen and one forward.
“It’s been no secret that our depth on defence has been our weakness this season, and we feel that adding the two players that we have picked up will help with that,” Strachan remarked.
“Our goal is to win, and we feel that we have made a step in the right direction to making our team better,” he stressed.
The biggest deal saw the Lakers acquire defenceman Brandon Fehd and forward Bryan Broders from the Sioux Lookout Flyers, in exchange for forward Dane Morin and blueliners Mike Riffel and Jon Stephansson.
Fehd, a 20-year-old from Gilbert, Ariz., had a goal and nine assists in 23 games for the Flyers while Broders, a 19-year-old from Eagan, Mn., played in 19 contests for Sioux Lookout, registering nine goals and five assists.
“Both Fehd and Broders are guys that we have been impressed by when they have played against us this year,” Strachan noted.
“Fehd is someone who is feisty and moves the puck well, which will help to add to our depth on the back end.
“Broders is a player that has produced against our team all year [eight points in four games], and he has good size that he uses to go to the dirty areas of the rink,” Strachan added.
Heading to Sioux Lookout are Morin, a 20-year-old from Superior, Wis. who was tied for third in team scoring with 27 points in 27 games, and a pair 19-year-old defenders in Riffel and Stephansson, who had five and three points, respectively, so far this season.
“Losing someone like Dane hurts, but [the] old saying is that you have to give something up in order to get something,” Strachan reasoned.
“Dane will be missed as he was one of our leaders and he is also a very good person, in addition to bringing speed to our lineup and producing for us on offence.
“Moving Mike and Jon was solely a decision to make room on our back end, and to also give them the opportunity to get minutes up in Sioux Lookout, where we wish them and Dane all the best,” Strachan added.
The other deal saw the Lakers acquire defenceman Steve Terry from the Wisconsin Wilderness in exchange for future considerations.
Terry, a 20-year-old from Santee, Calif., had five points in 22 games for the league-leading Wilderness.
“Terry brings a veteran presence to our lineup, and he’s someone who is solid defensively along with being a good skater who can move the puck well,” Strachan noted.
It won’t take long for the new faces to be thrown into the line of fire for the Lakers, who currently sit in second place in the SIJHL, as they’ll be taking on the Wilderness tonight in a 7:30 p.m. clash at the Ice For Kids Arena.
With a win tonight, the Lakers could move back into a tie with the Wilderness for top spot in the standings.
The Wilderness, meanwhile, also will be welcoming a new face into their lineup tonight after the defending Bill Salonen Cup champs acquired forward Jordan Shockley from the Duluth Clydesdales on Wednesday in exchange for forwards Hunter Scott and Bryce Gustafson.
In adding Shockley to their lineup, the Wilderness have added even more fire power to their potent offensive attack.
The 19-year-old from Duluth had 37 points in 27 games this season for the Clydesdales, putting him second in the league scoring race behind Lakers’ rookie forward Jordan Larson.