Blades add depth up front with acquisition of Johnson


The Saskatoon Blades have added some depth to their forward group, acquiring 18-year-old forward Cole Johnson from the Swift Current Broncos in exchange for a fifth round pick in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft and a seventh round pick in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft.

The two teams announced the deal Thursday morning.

“We currently have four forwards out of the lineup with longer-term injuries, so bringing in Cole will help shore up some holes in the roster and provide some help to our 1998 group moving forward,” said Colin Priestner, general manager of the Blades, in a team release. “Cole’s an intriguing player. He had a lot of success in bantam and midget until his shoulder injury set him back.”

Johnson, a 5-foot-11, 202-pound product of Marwayne, Alta., has tallied 11 points (5G-6A) in 44 career WHL regular season games, including 10 points (4G-6A) in 34 outings this season. He only played in 10 games during the across the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons due to a shoulder injury after registering 45 points (28G-17A) in his final season (2013-14) of Midget AAA with the Lloydminster Bobcats of the Alberta Midget Hockey League.

Johnson was originally selected by the Broncos in the second round (34th) of the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.

“We thank Cole very much for his contributions to the Broncos,” said Manny Viveiros, director of player personnel and head coach of the Broncos, in a team release. “We wish him all the best with the Blades and thank him for representing us on and off the ice.”

The fifth round pick (2018) destined for Swift Current originally belonged to the Red Deer Rebels, while the seventh round pick was originally property of the Regina Pats. The Blades acquired those picks in the trade that sent Cameron Hausinger to the Rebels.

The Blades return to action Friday when they visit the Moose Jaw Warriors, while the Broncos host the Brandon Wheat Kings.

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