Josh Williams, a highly-touted prospect for the 2019 NHL Draft, is on the move from the Medicine Hat Tigers following a WHL Trade Deadline transaction with the Edmonton Oil Kings.
Headed south to the Tigers is 2000-born forward Brett Kemp in a straight-up, one-for-one hockey deal.
Williams, a 2001-born product of Langley, B.C., is set to appear in the 2019 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game slated for January 23 in Red Deer. In 41 games with the Tigers this season, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound right winger has posted a career-high 21 points (9G-12A).
“We are very happy to welcome a player of Josh’s caliber to the Oil Kings organization,” said Kirt Hill, president of hockey operations and general manager of the Oil Kings, in a team release. “Josh has an extremely high work ethic and is a player who will help raise our compete level as we head down the stretch.”
Originally a fifth-overall selection at the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft, Williams battled injuries during his rookie campaign in 2016-17, registering 20 points (11G-9A) in only 47 outings.
With a combination of size, speed, and skill, Williams has represented Canada on the international stage on a number of occasions, most recently winning a gold medal with his country at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Red Deer and Edmonton this past summer.
On the other side of the deal, the Tigers receive the 18-year-old Kemp. The product of Yorkton, Sask., is near a point-per-game player this season, enjoying a breakout campaign with 39 points (22G-17A) in 40 contests.
“We are excited to welcome Brett and his family to the Tigers’ organization,” said Shaun Clouston, head coach and general manager of the Tigers, in a team release. “We look forward to working with him and helping him further develop. We would also like to thank Josh for his contributions to the Tigers and wish him all the best in Edmonton.”
Selected in the second round (41st) by the Everett Silvertips at the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft, the 6-foot, 162-pound left winger has amassed 89 points (43G-46A) in 146 career WHL regular season games.
This is the second time Kemp has been part of a significant WHL Trade Deadline deal after he was moved from Everett to Edmonton in 2017 when the Oil Kings sent veteran defenceman Aaron Irving to the Silvertips.
The Oil Kings are on the road to face the Lethbridge Hurricanes this Friday (7 p.m. MT) before heading down the highway to take on the Tigers on Saturday (7:30 p.m. MT). As for Medicine Hat, they host the Regina Pats on Friday evening (7:30 p.m. MT) before welcoming Edmonton on Saturday.
The 2019 WHL Trade Deadline arrives Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m. MT.