The Edmonton Oil Kings made a splash on the trade market Monday, acquiring import center Tomas Soustal from the Kelowna Rockets.
In exchange, the Oil Kings sent a fourth-round selection in the 2018 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft to the Rockets to complete the trade.
Soustal is a big addition to the Oil Kings’ lineup with 175 regular season games of WHL experience, scoring 47 goals and 113 points since coming to the Okanagan in the 2014-15 season. Last season, Soustal tallied 18 goals and 47 points in 49 regular season games. He was originally a Canadian Hockey League Import Draft selection in 2014, taken 60th overall by the Rockets.
The 6-foot-3, 199-pound forward from Unicov, Czech Republic also adds plenty of playoff experience for a young Oil Kings team looking to make it back to the post-season. In Soustal’s first season, the Rockets won the Ed Chynoweth Cup, and making it to the final of the 2015 Mastercard Memorial Cup. He has 13 goals and 27 points in 54 career WHL playoff games.
The return of Carsen Twarynski from camp with the Philadelphia Flyers created a numbers game for the Rockets, who had four overage players. The Rockets also had three imports in center Marek Skvrne (1999) from the Czech Republic and right-shot defenceman Libor Zabransky (2000) who also hailed from the Czech Republic.
“The number of overage players we can have is only three, and with Twarynski coming back, that gave us an extra guy. We also had three Europeans and we’re only allowed to carry two. We just felt we needed to go with the two younger European players,” said Rockets General Manager Bruce Hamilton. “We feel this is a really good situation for Tomas to be going to Edmonton. He’s going to a really nice city, and to a team that’s up and coming.
“He’s going to be counted on to score a lot of goals for them, and he’s going to be a very important part of their team. Unfortunately, it’s not that we wanted to make the trade, but we had to simply due to numbers.”
The Oil Kings will encounter their own numbers game because of the deal, already keeping forwards Artyom Baltruk (1999) and Andrei Pavlenko (2000).