Broncos Coach/GM Mark Lamb talks trade
The Swift Current Broncos added some experience and toughness to their blueline yesterday in a deal for 19-year-old Ayrton Nikkel. They sent 18-year-old Cole Bevan and a 7th round pick to Saskatoon to make the deal happen in what was a house cleaning day for the Blades. Saskatoon moved out several veterans in responding to a slow start and Nikkel was part of that.
The deal makes sense for both teams as Swift Current gets an experienced hand who can add physicality and defensive skill to a deep defensive core, while Saskatoon gets an untested young player who was going to struggle to find ice time again this season thanks to that same deep group on Swift Current’s back end. Bevan was a captain in major midget and has proven he is a hard hitter. He was also very much valued as a good teammate. Other than that we don’t really yet know what he could be at the WHL level so a young Blades team gets an untested player they hope will develop.
Swift Current gets something you can never have enough of… veteran depth on defence. Nikkel is certainly well travelled since being drafted by the Blades in the second round of the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft. He went to Brandon and Everett before returning to Saskatoon and now making the move to Swift Current. In that time the Kelowna product has logged some big minutes in most situations. We know what he is now. He’s a guy you can stick in your lineup in your top four comfortably and thanks to the depth in Swift Current he could an excellent third pairing option that would give the Broncos an edge on most other third pairings in the league.
Mark Lamb also feels there is untapped potential yet in Nikkel. He was a highly touted young player who has turned into a reliable and tough veteran. Lamb thinks there could be even more to him than that and an offensive side to his game that hasn’t been fully explored. We will start to get a look at that tonight in Prince George when Nikkel should be in the lineup for his debut.
This is a nice move for Swift Current. If they don’t end up getting Honka back (which we don’t know about yet) than I think they would have been maybe looking for an extra veteran and Nikkel more than takes care of that. Even if they do get him back is it ever a bad thing on a team that you hope is in the mix come playoff time to have veteran depth and more guys you rely on? Especially at the cost of a guy that frankly hasn’t been able to crack the lineup that much.
It’s a nice move for Bevan too because he is getting to the point in his career where he has to play and see what he can be. I hope he gets that chance and thrives in Saskatoon.
Our broadcast tonight from Prince George gets started at 7:30pm Saskatchewan time.