In one of his last games with the Vancouver Giants

Giants shakeup brings experience, youthfulness to Langley

Langley-based junior hockey team comes out of WHL trade with more players.

Coming and going at a glance

In summary, there are a number of players coming and goingfrom the Vancouver Giants in the WHL trades.

OUT:

Thomas Foster to Moose Jaw Warriors

Alec Baer to Lethbridge Hurricanes

Radovan Bondra to Prince George Cougars

Dmitry Osipov to Brandon Wheat Kings

IN:

Brayden Watts from Moose Jaw Warriors

Bartek Bison from Prince George Cougars

Jordan Wharrie from Brandon Wheat Kings

Calvin Spencer from Swift Current Broncos

Jordan Borstmayer from Kelowna Rockets

 

The trades take effect immediately

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CAPTION: General manager Glen Hanlon

Vancouver Giants said goodbye to four players, while welcoming six new faces to the Langley-based WHL hockey team.

As the dust settled following Tuesday’s WHL trade deadline, the G-Men parted ways with a few of their lead scorers, but hope to get a benefit from the mix of youth and experience they’re putting in their place.

Saying goodbye

Gone are the centre from Minnesota, Alec Baer, as well as Slovakian winger Radovan Bondra. Also traded was Slave Lake native Thomas Foster, along with Russian defencemen Dmitry Osipov.

Alec Baer

• Baer, 19, has been traded to the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Baer signed with the Giants on February 15, 2013.

He played in 240 games for the Giants over parts of five seasons, scoring 44 goals and 61 assists. He also has two points in four career playoff games.

This season alone, Baer has 18 points in 39 games

“We thank Alec for his time here in Vancouver,” said general manager Glen Hanlon. “We wish him all the best of luck in his future hockey career.”

Radovan Bondra

• Bondra, 19, is off to Prince George to play for the Cougars.

The hockey club has traded the import forward Bondra to the Cougars in exchange for 2000-born forward Tyler Ho, 1998-born import forward Bartek Bison, and a third round pick in the 2018 WHL bantam draft.

Bondra was drafted by the Giants at eighth overall in the 2015 CHL import draft. The winger scored 34 goals and 27 assists in 90 games over parts of two seasons with the G-Men, and was a fifth-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015.

“We thank Radovan for two great years of service,” Hanlon said.

“It’s been fun to watch him grow, and we wish him all the best in Prince George. We gave up a valuable player, so we’ve received a very good local prospect in Tyler Ho in return.”

Thomas Foster

• Foster, 19, is bound for Moose Jaw to play the Warriors, but will be back in Langley this Friday, when the Giants take on the Prairie team on home ice at Langley Events Centre.

His trade was announced Sunday. He’s a fifth-round pick in the 2018 WHL bantam draft and an eighth-round pick in 2017 to the Moose Jaw Warriors for 17-year-old forward Brayden Watts, a second round pick in 2018 and a fifth-round pick in 2017.

“This was a hard deal for us to do,” said Giants majority owner Ron Toigo.

“Thomas has been a great soldier for the Giants ever since we drafted him. He’s been a rock for our organization over the last couple of years, but we felt it was important to send him to a place where he will have an opportunity to win. We wish him the best of luck with Moose Jaw the rest of the season.”

The Alberta boy was drafted by the Giants in the first round of the 2011 WHL bantam draft and went on to play 259 regular season games in a Vancouver uniform, scoring 42 goals and 84 assists.

He also appeared in four playoff games for the Giants in 2013/14, scoring one goal.

Dmitry Osipov

•  Osipov, 20, is also off to the Prairies, but he’s heading to Manitoba to play with the Brandon Wheat Kings.

The Giants acquired 1997-born defenceman Jordan Wharrie and a second-round pick in the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft from the Brandon Wheat Kings in exchange for the import blue liner, Osipov.

“Dmitry exemplifies what a Vancouver Giant is. He’s been a warrior and done everything we’ve asked of him both on and off the ice,” Hanlon said.

“We’ve watched him grow as a person and gain command of the English language, and we wish him continued success for the rest of this year and in the future.”

New to the roster

In exchange for giving up these players, the Vancouver Giants received a mix of young up-and-comers and a few seasoned players.

Brayden Watt

• On the incoming list are 17-year-old right winger Brayden Watt.

He comes as part of the trade for Foster that was announced Sunday.

Watts has scored four goals in 40 games for the Warriors this season. The Bakersfield, Calif. native played in 10 playoff games for Moose Jaw as a 16-year-old rookie last season.

The Warriors drafted him in the third round of the 2014 WHL bantam draft at 62nd overall.

Bartek Bison

• Another new face for the G-Men is Bartek Bison who was traded from Prince George Cougars as part of the deal for Bondra.

Bison went 15th overall to the Cougars in the 2015 CHL import dDraft.

Hailing from Amsterdam, he has netted five goals and one assist in 22 games this season.

The 18-year-old has 21 points in 78 career regular season games. He also played in four games for PG in the 2016 playoffs.

“The deal will also give Bartek Bison an opportunity to come in and showcase his skill set, help develop our team and compete to be part of our future,” said Hanlon.

Jordan Wharrie

• Jordan Wharrie joins the Giants, leaving the Brandon Wheat Kings.

This 19-year-old defenceman was acquired, along with a second-rond pick in the 2019 bantam draft, in exchange for Osipov.

Wharrie, a Port Moody native, has three goals and seven assists in 41 games with the Wheat Kings this season.

The rearguard is also a former Victoria Royal and Everett Silvertip, amassing 132 career WHL games. He was a fifth-round pick of the Silvertips in the 2012 WHL bantam draft.

Calvin Spencer

• In the deal for Osipov, the G-Men also sent a conditional ninth-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft to the Swift Current Broncos in exchange for 1996-born forward Calvin Spencer.

Spencer has scored 10 goals and six assists in 36 games with the Broncos this season.

The 20-year-old winger from Minnesota has played in 200 WHL games, split between Swift Current and the Seattle Thunderbirds. Spencer is the half brother of Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets.

“With these moves, we bring some experience into our lineup in Jordan and Calvin,” Hanlon said.

“Our approach to the last week was to bring in young talent. Of course, whenever you do that, you have to pay a price, and these last two trades will help us bring some balance between youth and experience back to our current roster.”

Jordan Borstmayer

• The Giants announced back on Friday that they’d acquired Jordan Borstmayer from the Kelowna Rockets.

Borstmayer, who hails from St. Brieux, Sask., was selected by Kelowna in the third round of the 2013 bantam draft at 65th overall.

The 18-year-old winger has three goals and four assists in 32 games with the Rockets this season. He’s played 96 career WHL games.

“We’re excited to add Jordan to our group,” Hanlon said. “He has playoff experience which we are trying to add to our team. Jordan is also a smart player who plays with a lot of energy, and we’re looking forward to the continued growth of our team with him as a part of it.”

Tyler Ho

• The Vancouver Giants also acquired prospect Tyler Ho, who currently plays for the Valley West Hawks in the BC Major Midget League in the trade of Bondra to the Prince George Cougars.

Ho, who is from North Vancouver, was drafted by the Cougars in the third round of the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft and signed a WHL standard player agreement with Prince George on June 1, 2015.

The 16-year-old forward is currently in the top 10 in scoring in the major midgets, tallying 14 goals and 21 assists in 26 games with the Valley West Hawks this season.

Ho has also played in three games with the BCHL’s Coquitlam Express this year.

He isn’t expected to be added to the roster this season, but will likely be called up to play some games, said marketing director Brendan Batchelor.

Ho is “one of the top scorers in the BC Major Midget League, and we’re looking forward to giving him the opportunity to play in front of friends and family,” said Hanlon.

Back on the ice Friday

The Giants are back on home ice at the Langley Events Centre on Friday, Jan. 13, when they compete against the Moose Jaw Warriors.

For tickets, people can click here or call 604-444-2687.