The Victoria Royals have added another piece of offensive weaponry to their arsenal, acquiring 19-year-old forward Lane Zablocki from the Lethbridge Hurricanes in exchange for a second-round pick in 2018, a conditional third-round pick in 2019 and a sixth-round pick in 2018.
Zablocki – a 6-foot, 190-pound product of Wetaskawin, Alta. – is a prospect of the Detroit Red Wings, having been selected in the third round (79th) of the 2017 NHL Draft.
Originally selected by the Prince George Cougars in the fifth round (109th) of the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft, Zablocki began his WHL career with the Regina Pats before being moved to the Red Deer Rebels at the 2017 WHL Trade Deadline in a blockbuster deal that included Anaheim Ducks prospect Josh Mahura.
With the Hurricanes battling for positioning atop the WHL’s Central Division, general manager Peter Anholt acquired the gritty goal scorer from the Rebels earlier this season. Now, with the WHL Trade Deadline drawing near, Anholt has since shifted his priorities, moving out the likes of captain Giorgio Estephan, goaltender Stuart Skinner (Edmonton Oilers) and now Zablocki.
In 40 games this season, split between the Rebels and Hurricanes, Zablocki has collected 25 points (11G-14A). Through 176 career WHL regular season contests, he has 116 points (57G-59A) to his name.
Zablocki set career marks during the 2016-17 season – split between Regina and Red Deer – with 54 points (28G-26A) in 64 games. Bringing a blend of hard-nosed tenacity and fine-touch finish, Zablocki has proven productive during the WHL Playoffs, managing 17 points, including 13 goals, in 18 games.
In Victoria, Zablocki will aim to help the Royals reclaim their place atop the B.C. Division. Having gone 3-6-0-1 through their previous 10 games, the Royals have slipped to third in the B.C. Division, but sit only three points back of both the Kelowna Rockets and Vancouver Giants in the race for the division crown.
The Royals return to action Friday evening (7:05 p.m. PT) when they host the Kamloops Blazers.