The Kootenay ICE continue to add veteran savvy to their roster in preparation for the 2017-18 Western Hockey League campaign.
Tuesday afternoon, the ICE announced the acquisition of 20-year-old defenceman Jordan Henderson from the Central Division rival Medicine Hat Tigers, in exchange for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft.
“Jordan is a veteran defenceman who had a very strong finish to his 19-year-old season,” said Matt Cockell, president and general manager of the ICE. “He skates well, brings energy to the room and we think he will have an opportunity to earn an advanced role with the ICE.”
Henderson – a 6-foot, 180-pound product of Vancouver – split the 2016-17 season between the Spokane Chiefs, Saskatoon Blades and Tigers. Over 61 games, the veteran rearguard tallied a career-high 27 points (6G-21A). In total, he logged 19 points (5G-14A) in 26 games after landing in Medicine Hat and featuring prominently on the Tabbies’ blue line.
“The Tigers would like to thank Jordan for his dedication and contributions to the Tigers last season,” said Shaun Clouston, head coach and general manager of the Tigers. “We wish him all the best in Cranbrook with the ICE.”
Originally selected by the Chiefs in the fourth round (72nd) of the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft, Henderson spent two full seasons in Spokane before being dealt to Saskatoon early in the 2016-17 campaign. A veteran of 158 career WHL regular season contests, Henderson has 36 points (7G-29A) to his credit. He also brings 23 games worth of WHL post-season experience to the table, including 11 games as a member of the Tigers.
The veteran Vancouverite isn’t the only overage player to have found a new home in Cranbrook this off-season. Earlier, the ICE went out and landed 20-year-old goaltender Mario Petit from the Everett Silvertips in exchange for a conditional sixth-round selection in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft.
In addition to Henderson and Petit, the ICE stand to return a handful of overage players, including forwards Colton Kroeker and Shane Allan (missed 2016-17 due to injury), along with defencemen Troy Murray and Kurtis Rutledge. Former alternate captain Austin Wellsby is expected to suit up for his hometown Chilliwack Chiefs of the BCHL to finish out his junior hockey career.
Henderson and the ICE open the 2017 WHL pre-season in Kennewick, Wash., when they visit the Tri-City Americans on Thursday, September 7.