The Saskatoon Blades have completed a pair of trades in advance of the 2017-18 regular season, ultimately solving the overage situation while solidifying their goaltending for the foreseeable future.
In two separate deals the Blades shipped 20 year old goaltender Logan Flodell to Swift Current in exchange for a 2020 2nd round draft pick and a 2019 5th round draft pick, and then promptly used the return to add another goalie. The Blades acquired 19 year old netminder Ryan Kubic from the Vancouver Giants in exchange for a 2019 2nd round pick.
Kubic, a native of St. Andrews, Manitoba, comes to Saskatoon with a wealth of experience having played 109 regular season games in the WHL– all with the Vancouver Giants. A 2nd round pick of the Giants back in 2013, Kubic made his debut between the pipes in January of 2014 at the ripe age of 16. Just ten months later, Kubic represented Canada at the World U17 Championships getting into two games at the tournament. For the past two seasons Kubic was the number one backstop in Vancouver at the ages of 17 and 18 playing in a combined 106 games. In October of 2016 Kubic was also named the CHL Goaltender of the week, ironically just one week after Logan Flodell had the honour. As a 17 year old rookie, Kubic set a Vancouver Giants team record posting three consecutive shutouts.
Blades GM Colin Priestner is confident in his newly acquired goalie who gives the team another year of eligibility.
“Ryan was one of only six 1998 born goalies to play for Team Canada at the World U17 Hockey Challenge and is a very athletic and confident goalie. He had three consecutive shutouts in his rookie season behind an extremely young D-core and we feel very confident with him our net for the next two seasons.” explained Priestner.
While the trade may come as a surprise to some, Priestner says it ultimately came down to what’s best for the team now and moving forward.
“It was a very difficult and complicated process to go through for us. All four guys are special and in any scenerio we were going to lose a star player. We know how good Logan is and what an incredible season he had with us last year, and losing him is difficult. However, we simply felt the combination of Hebig and Shmyr playing together as 20’s would give us a first line on par with any other in the league and would insulate our young star players from having to play against top lines and top d-men every night.” said the Blades GM. “We now have a 5 year plan in net moving forward and this fills the gap that would have been created with Logan graduating next year.”
Priestner went on to explain trading one of Hebig or Shmyr would have only returned draft picks or prospects leaving a potential gaping hole in the lineup. Braylon Shmyr was the Blades’ leading scorer last season while Cameron Hebig was arguably the best forward for Saskatoon prior to his injury. The prospect of being able to add Kubic made the pill easier to swallow when teams inquired about Flodell. As for recently named captain, Evan Fiala, Priesnter said “he simply brings too much to the team on and off the ice to have considered moving.”
“We’d like to thank l Logan for his time and commitment to our organization and the city of Saskatoon, and wish him nothing but the best in his future.” added Priestner.
Ryan Kubic, who will wear #31, will join the Blades for his first practice Wednesday, and is expected to start in goal for the Blades home opener on Friday versus the Swift Current Broncos.
The Saskatoon Blades open the 2017-18 WHL regular season at home on Friday, September 22nd versus the Swift Current Broncos. Game time is 7:00pm at SaskTel Centre. Click here for tickets or call 306.975.8844 to book your group night or experience package!