Tyler Steenbergen Interview

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Tyler Steenbergen (photo by Darwin Knelsen for scbroncos.com)

Swift Current Broncos forward Tyler Steenbergen hit the 40-goal mark on Wednesday in only 53 games. A very impressive milestone for Steenbergen that has him on pace to reach 50 goals as well. No matter where he finishes he has proven to be one of the best goal scorers in the WHL and he’s only 18. I had a chance to catch up with him this afternoon ahead of a game in his hometown against Red Deer tonight.

Interview with Tyler Steenbergen:

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Alumni & Prospect Update

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Zack Smith

I had floated the idea recently on twitter of digging through the archive of Swift Current Broncos alumni to check in how the active alumni are doing. That ended up being a much bigger process than I expected. I found 8 players who suited up for at least a game in the NHL so far this season, 12 in the AHL and 30 in Europe. In total from what I could find there are 55 former Broncos active in the professional ranks, 15 in Canadian University and 87 in total. I didn’t track senior hockey because it’s too difficult to get accurate rosters or stats from that. If you spot any mistakes or players I’ve missed on the page please let me know by comment or by emailing smullin@gmail.com

Click here for my new alumni page

At the same time I also updated the prospects page. Again that page is always in flux because of players getting added to or subtracted from Swift Current’s list. There may be some changes on that list that aren’t reflected in this list as well. Either way it’s a chance to track how some of the future Broncos stars are developing.

Click here for the updated prospects page

Tonight the Broncos are in Edmonton for their first visit to the new Rogers Place. Listen live on The Eagle 94.1 FM with Robertson Family Group Broncos Hockey at 7:30pm.

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Brandan Arnold Interview

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Interview with F Brandon Arnold before Wednesday’s game:

Brandan Arnold made his return to the Swift Current Broncos this week after putting up 12 points in 6 games for Nipawin of the SJHL. I caught up with him before Wednesday’s game against Edmonton. Watch Swift Current Online later for a story on that as well. I thought Arnold brought a lot of good energy for the Broncos against Edmonton. I’m sure he can keep building on that as the team heads towards playoffs.

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Lane Pederson Interview

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Lane Pederson (photo by Darwin Knelsen for scbroncos.com)

It’s been a long stretch between games for the Swift Current Broncos as they take this week off to get back on track. The Broncos hadn’t had any long stretches of poor play this season, but recently their defensive game has struggled and they’ve only managed two wins in their last seven games. Perhaps this break came at a good time to address that. Here’s my chat with Lane Pederson on this week off leading up to tomorrow’s game against Prince Albert…

Interview with Lane Pederson:

Meanwhile, Broncos fans got a taste of their future yesterday as 2016 first round bantam draft pick Logan Barlage had a hat trick and an assist in a Prince Albert Mintos win over the Swift Current Home Hardware Legionnaries last night. The two teams play again this afternoon in Midget AAA action at the Credit Union iPlex. The Legionnaries also feature a couple of quality Broncos prospects including one of the top scorers in the league in Ethan Regnier. It’s worth checking out.

The Broncos are finally back in action tomorrow afternoon at 4pm against Prince Albert.

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Interview with Jake Hobson

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Jake Hobson (photo by Darwin Knelsen for scbroncos.com)

A few fans are taking notice of new Broncos defenceman Jake Hobson already. Acquired from Portland for a 5th round bantam draft pick, Hobson looks like he could be another young defensive find like a Brett Lernout and Sahvan Khaira with the potential to develop into a very good top four option in Swift Current. He skates well, moves the puck well and seems like a pretty poised young defender. There will be ups and downs as there are for every young defenceman, but it looks like he was a good bet. The former second team all-star in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA league is excited to be playing in his home province again. I caught up with him before Saturday’s game against Tri-City.

Interview with Jake Hobson (pre-game on Saturday)

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Interviews with Lindgren & Papirny

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Jordan Papirny (photo from scbroncos.com)

The Swift Current Broncos made some big moves at the WHL Trade Deadline acquiring Jordan Papirny from Brandon, Ryley Lindgren from Lethbridge and Jake Hobson from Portland. There were some tough choices involved in the deals and some quality young men who were dealt as a part of a big push for a playoff run. That’s the nature of the business but I certainly wish Calvin Spencer, Kade Jensen, Travis Child and Cole Johnson all the best. Brandan Arnold remains part of the organization while going to Nipawin who knows we could see him again too.

What did the Broncos get? First of all a true big game goaltender who has been a winner his whole career in Papirny. They also had a 200 foot player who can clearly score in Lindgren and a very promising young defenceman in Hobson. I had a chance to chat with Lindgren before today’s 8-3 win over Kootenay and Papirny after. Here is our first conversations with two key pieces of this year’s stretch drive…

Interview with Broncos G Jordan Papirny:

Interview with Broncos F Ryley Lindgren:

Swift Current has a busy weekend coming up starting in Medicine Hat on Friday before home games on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. There is a lot to be excited about if you’re a Broncos fan from the big trades to the team winning ning of their last eleven games. Hopefully we have a nice lively crowd on the weekend to build on that great momentum.

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Porter talks trade deadline, WHL overage players

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Photo by Darwin Knelsen for scbroncos.com

Interview with Broncos Director of Hockey Operations Jamie Porter:

Jamie Porter stopped by our broadcast booth today during the second intermission to chat trade deadline. It was an interesting conversation although of course they are not going to give away their strategy. It sounds like the Broncos are looking to make responsible additions to the club but this isn’t an effort to go “all in” and sacrifice the future for today.

The current trade market for overage players is intriguing as several moves have been made already for high prices. Does that mean the market is set or does it mean the overage players that are left have fewer places to go and the price drops. Probably a little of both. Teams are going to be aiming to get similar returns to what others have received, but they may not be able to get quite to that level given the extent of the remaining market.

I’m not saying the Broncos are only talking about overage players. That said their opening for a 20-year-old makes them a likely destination for one of the players left on the market. Who is available? Going by the lowest ranked teams in the standings…

  • F Tim Vanstone – Prince Albert (41: 6-10-16) Tough, two-way gritty leader from Swift Current. Raiders captain.
  • F Cavin Leth – Prince Albert (37: 10-4-14) Also a gritty two-way player and fast. Big player for Seattle in the playoffs last year. Former Bronco.
  • F Kolten Olynek – Prince Albert (36: 7-6-13) Has been on waivers and the Broncos didn’t take an interest at the time.
  • F Matt Alfaro – Kootenay Ice (40: 12-25-37) Strong two-way centre who has been in on 37% of his team’s goals.
  • F Zak Zborosky – Kootenay Ice (40: 28-16-44) Elite goal scorer in the WHL in on 44% of his team’s goals.
  • G Payton Lee – Kootenay Ice (3.84 GAA, 0.906 save percentage) Similar save percentage to Child and Burman
  • F Tyler Mrkonjic – Calgary Hitmen (37: 4-13-17) Don’t know him well. Big and strong but only 2 penalty minutes. Improved his scoring numbers this year.
  • D Michael Zipp – Calgary Hitmen (36: 3-13-16) Anchor of Calgary’s defence plays in every situation. Way ahead of previous production.
  • F Thomas Foster – Vancouver Giants (37: 10-17-27) Good skater and solid career production for former 1st round bantam pick.
  • D Jeff Rayman – Vancouver Giants (35: 3-0-3) Big defensive defenceman
  • D Dmitry Osipov – Vancouver Giants (35: 1-10-11) Big defensive defenceman who as an import is a two-spotter so not an option for Swift Current
  • F Jesse Shynkaruk – Saskatoon Blades (29: 13-12-25) Skilled top-six forward who found his offensive game after three seasons in the league
  • F Markson Bechtold – Saskatoon Blades (16: 6-3-9) Injured and the Blades just recently traded for him so very likely not an option
  • D Bryton Sayers – Saskatoon Blades (42: 3-15-18) Solid two-way defenceman who can move the puck
  • F Riley Stadel – Edmonton Oil Kings (29: 5-2-7) Recently acquired from Kelowna
  • F Tyler Robertson – Edmonton Oil Kings (38: 11-14-25) Good two-way forward with size. Played on the Memorial Cup winning team.
  • F Graham Millar – Edmonton Oil Kings (26: 10-8-18) Big forward has increased his production this year. Recently acquired from Everett in the Irving deal.
  • F Keanu Yamamoto – Spokane Chiefs (39: 15-22-37) Skilled top six forward with speed. Brother of star young forward Kailer both from Spokane.
  • F Alex Mowbray – Spokane Chiefs (6: 0-0-0) Former Medicine Hat Tiger had been available to anyone before recently claimed by Spokane.
  • G Jayden Sittler – Spokane Chiefs (3.21 GAA, 0.885 save percentage) Overage goalie with worse stats than both Broncos goalies.

Those are all the teams either currently out of the playoffs or on the fringe of the playoffs that I think could be sellers. Saskatoon recently added an overage forward so they may not be a seller it’s hard to say. Edmonton probably isn’t trading the two guys they recently traded for after trading away their star vets although you never really know. The other team who could be of interest is Kamloops as their addition of Lane Bauer has left them with four overage players. That means one of their three others would have to go.

  • F Matt Revel – Kamloops Blazers (31: 7-11-18) Solid scoring forward who previously played in Saskatoon. Listed as injured for 8 weeks so until late February.
  • F Collin Shirley – Kamloops Blazers (40: 17-20-37) Skilled top six forward had 79 points last year and 37 goals.
  • D Dallas Valentine – Kamloops Blazers (23: 1-4-5) Big defensive defenceman

The Blazers will have to move one of these three players and you would think Revel would be the most likely or at least the player they would most like to move because of his injury situation. That also may make him harder to move even though he would be a strong addition to any team.

This list doesn’t completely rule out players from other teams like Red Deer, Victoria, etc. I’m not going to list every overage player in the league so I have mostly focused on the teams I suspect could be selling veterans. Who would the Broncos be most interested in? I would guess the scoring forwards. Alfaro, Zborosky, Foster, Shynkaruk, Robertson, Millar, Revel and Shirley seem like the most logical players to pursue under those circumstances. Yamamoto would on that list but I can’t imagine Spokane trading him away from his brother and hometown. Vanstone and Leth are both players you could imagine Swift Current would have some interest in as well for strengthening their veteran depth towards a playoff run. I’m a big fan of both players. That said I imagine the ideal plan for Swift Current is to get someone who is scoring at a top six type of pace.

Who do you think they should target from that group or outside it?

Obviously the prices vary depending on the player, the team and the situation. Some or all might be too expensive right now. We’ll see if that price changes by Monday or Tuesday.

They also may be looking at some things other than overage players. So far I have no guess what that could possibly be. You never know in silly season.

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