A pair of veteran forwards are headed to new clubs as the Lethbridge Hurricanes made two transactions before the WHL trade deadline passed on Monday afternoon.
First it was a trade between Highway 3 rivals, with Lethbridge sending 2001-born forward Logan Barlage east to Medicine Hat along with a 2022 4th-round pick in exchange for fellow 20-year-old Corson Hopwo.
Hopwo was a 7th-round pick (138th overall) by the Tigers in 2016, and has totaled 96 points (43 goals, 53 assists) in 170 career WHL games, including 16 points (8G, 8A) in 25 games so far in 2021-2022.
Barlage was picked 4th-overall in the 2016 WHL Draft by the Swift Current Broncos and was acquired by the Hurricanes in 2018. He’s skated in 259 career games including 217 with Lethbridge, totalling 147 points (56G, 91A) in his time with the club, collecting 17 points (7G, 10A) in 31 games this season.
“We think adding Hopwo to our group will help us down the stretch,” Hurricanes general manager Peter Anholt said in a statement Monday. “It’s a tough move to make, but we like what Hopwo will bring to our lineup.”
“Logan has been a big part of our team for the last five years and has been a great player and person for our organization. We think a fresh start for Logan will be a great opportunity for him.”
Lethbridge Hurricanes set to open WHL season
The club followed up the Barlage trade with a second transaction on Monday, one that saw 2002-born forward Chase Wheatcroft sent to the top team in the WHL: the Winnipeg Ice.
Winnipeg acquires Wheatcroft and a 2022 5th-round pick in exchange for 2004-born forward Brayden Edwards, a 2025 2nd-round pick, and a 2023 4th-round pick.
“Chase is a special person and has been a great Hurricane, which made this a tough trade,” Anholt said in a statement from the club.
Wheatcroft was undrafted and signed with the Hurricanes in 2018. He’s totaled 61 points (19G, 42A) over 104 career regular season games in the WHL, including 17 points (4G, 13A) in 22 games this season.
The Hurricanes receive 17-year-old Edwards, who was a 6th-round pick of the ICE in 2019. The first-year forward has skated in 11 games with Winnipeg this season, notching three assists.
“We really like Edwards and think he has some upside as a centre,” Anholt said. “We think he will fit in with our 2004 group, while being able to add the draft picks is big for our organization.”
The pair of moves on Monday are the latest in a string of eight trades made by Anholt since November, including sending three 19-year-olds out of Lethbridge:
- Nov. 4, 2021: Hurricanes acquire 2nd- (2023) and 4th-round (2025) picks from the Edmonton Oil Kings in exchange for 2005-born forward Cole Miller;
- Nov. 5, 2021: Hurricanes acquire 3rd- (2022), 4th- (2023), 5th- (2022), and 6th-round (2022) picks from the Vancouver Giants in exchange for 2001-born defenseman Alex Cotton;
- Nov. 9, 2021: Hurricanes acquire 2001-born defenseman Kade Nolan from the Portland Winterhawks in exchange for a 4th-round pick in 2023;
- Nov. 27, 2021: Hurricanes acquire 2003-born forward Tristan Zandee from the Calgary Hitmen in exchange for a 5th-round pick in 2022;
- Dec. 28, 2021: Hurricanes acquire 2004-born forward Hayden Smith and a 2025 3rd-round pick from the Saskatoon Blades in exchange for 2002-born forward Noah Boyko;
- Dec. 31, 2021: Hurricanes acquire 2003-born forward Tyson Laventure and 2004-born defenseman Ross Stanley from the Prince Albert Raiders in exchange for 2002-born defenseman Trevor Thurston and a 2023 6th-round pick;
- Jan. 17, 2022: Hurricanes acquire 2001-born forward Corson Hopwo from the Medicine Hat Tigers in exchange for 2001-born forward Logan Barlage and a 2022 4th-round pick;
- Jan. 17, 2022: Hurricanes acquire 2004-born forward Brayden Edwards and 2nd (2025) and 4th-round (2023) picks from the Winnipeg ICE in exchange for 2002-born forward Chase Wheatcroft and a 2022 5th-round pick.
After playing three games in three nights over the weekend, the Hurricanes are now off until Friday when they welcome the Red Deer Rebels to town before visiting the Swift Current Broncos on Saturday.
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