Saskatoon, Sask.– The Saskatoon Blades have acquired 19-year-old forward Ryan Hughes from the Portland Winterhawks in exchange for 19-year-old forward Josh Paterson, a 2020 2nd round draft pick and a 2021 4th round draft pick. The 2nd round pick in 2020 originally belonged to the Swift Current Broncos.
Hughes, a 5-foot-8 left-shot forward, is an established Western Hockey League scorer with a total of 223 career regular season games on his resume in addition to 27 playoff games. In those 223 games over the course of four seasons, Hughes has scored 64 goals and 87 assists. The Edmonton native is a career +16 and has collected 186 penalty minutes. In his 27 playoff appearances, Ryan has 4 goals and 8 assists.
This season, Hughes already has 17 goals, 40 points, and 34 penalty minutes in 36 games with the Winterhawks. Hughes also attended Montreal Canadiens’ camp this past off-season.
“First and foremost, we want to thank Josh for everything he has done for us and his parents Sheryl and Brad, they’re at a lot of games and have become a big part of the Blades family over the past four years,” said Saskatoon Blades general manager Colin Priestner. “Josh was the first player I ever drafted and him signing with us when we were an unproven young team was a big deal for us, and I’ll always be grateful to Josh for that.”
Paterson was originally drafted 25th overall by the Blades in 2014. Since then, Josh has suited up for 246 career regular season games in a Blades uniform.
“That being said to get a first line, dynamic left-winger in Ryan, there’s always a price to pay. But to acquire a player with the speed and skill that Ryan possesses, along with 27 games of playoff experience was big for us and for our coaching staff,” explained Priestner. “It’s difficult to find players who can produce like he can, and at the speed he can, and he’s coming from a great program that he’s spent the past four years in. These deals are never easy to make but we’re very excited to add Ryan to our group and we’re looking forward to seeing him on the ice this weekend.”
Hughes arrived in Saskatoon this afternoon with the Portland Winterhawks as they continue their biennial road trip through the East Division. Ryan is expected to make his debut in a Blades uniform on Friday night when Saskatoon plays host to the Calgary Hitmen. Saturday night the Blades entertain Hughes’ former team in the Portland Winterhawks at SaskTel Centre. Both games are scheduled for 7:00pm.