photos courtesy Jon Howe/Victoria Royals
The Saskatoon Blades are pleased to announce the acquisition of 2000 born forward, Eric Florchuk, from the Victoria Royals. In exchange, the Blades have sent Victoria a 2019 1st round draft pick (SAS), a 2021 1st round draft pick (SAS), and a 2018 4th round draft pick (BDN).
Florchuk, a 6’1″ forward from Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, was selected in the first round, 13th overall in the 2015 WHL draft by the Royals. As a 16-year-old rookie last season, Florchuk put up 3 goals and 6 assists in 51 outings. This year, Florchuk already has 28 points (7G-21A) through 43 games with Victoria.
“Players of Eric’s quality who are in their draft year do not come available very often. We are extremely excited to add him to our emerging group and he will be a top-end talent for us to build around over the next 3 years. He has played extensively with Kirby (Dach) and Chase (Wouters) and we feel this is a major piece to our goal of building a championship team.” explained Blades GM Colin Priestner, referring to Florchuk playing minor hockey growing up with Kirby Dach in Fort Saskatchewan and being on a line with Chase Wouters at the 2016 World U17 Championships where they won Silver together.
“He is a player that we have all loved since his draft year, and his two-way style and commitment to the defensive side of the puck have made him a big favorite amongst our scouts. He can play centre and left wing and can also help both special teams,” added Priestner. The Blades GM also went on the explain the exchange going to Victoria. “The amount of picks we received back for our veterans allowed us to move some key assets to get this done while still retaining the two 1st round picks from Regina that we project to be high-end picks in 2019 and 2020.”
Florchuk celebrates his 18th birthday today and will be competing in the upcoming Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. The annual bout features 40 of the top NHL draft eligible players from the WHL, OHL, and QMJHL. Eric was named to the NHL Central Scouting’s “Players to Watch” list for November and will look to showcase his skills with the Blades in hopes of hearing his name called at the draft in June taking place in Dallas, TX.
Eric is expected to arrive in Saskatoon today and may possibly make his debut in the lineup tonight versus the Medicine Hat Tigers. He will wear jersey #17.