Royals, Thunderbirds swap 1998-born skaters


The Seattle Thunderbirds and Victoria Royals both addressed needs Wednesday morning, exchanging a pair of 1998-born skaters.

Headed to Victoria from the defending WHL Champion Thunderbirds is defenceman Anthony Bishop, while forward Blake Bargar makes his way to Seattle from the Royals.

“This trade gives us an older, experienced forward and allows Bishop to play defence,” said Russ Farwell, general manager of the Thunderbirds. “It was a good fit for both.”

Bargar, a 19-year-old product of Torrance, Calif., registered 10 points (6G-4A) in 61 games during his first and only season with the Royals. He spent the prior two campaigns with the Moose Jaw Warriors after being selected in the seventh round (134th) of the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft. Over the course of 180 career WHL games, the 5-foot-11, 183-pound right winger has amassed 18 points (8G-10A).

Bishop, a 19-year-old product of Kelowna, B.C., logged seven points (2G-5A) in 66 games during his first and only season with the Thunderbirds. Through the T-Birds run to the 2017 WHL Championship, Bishop also saw action in 11 playoff games. He spent the prior year with the Sasktoon Blades where he skated in 40 games. Over 106 career WHL regular season contests, the 5-foot-11, 181-pound blueliner has collected nine points (2G-7A).

The Thunderbirds, along with Bargar, will open the 2017 WHL Pre-season on Friday, September 1, when they take on the Vancouver Giants at the Xfinity Arena in Everett, Wash. The Royals, complete with Bishop, open the 2017 WHL Pre-season on Friday, September 1, when they visit the Kamloops Blazers at the McArthur Island Sports Centre.

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