The Grande Prairie Storm have lost a defenceman who never played for them and gained a forward who could end up playing on the team's top line.
Joining the team is Sam Lawson – a forward who has already committed to play in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) with the Division I Fairbanks Nanooks starting next season.
Storm coach/general manager Blaine Bablitz on the weekend completed a trade with the Drumheller Dragons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League's South Division to acquire Lawson.
Headed to the Dragons is defenceman Ryan Aasman. Aasman was acquired by the Storm in a trade with the Spruce Grove Saints in August. Aasman, who is from Medicine Hat, wanted to complete his Junior A career nearer is home and Bablitz obliged him.
Bablitz also pulled off another trade on the weekend sending returning forward Nolan Yaremchuk to the Lloydminster Bobcats in return for forward Jake Matin.
Lawson,19, is a Calgary native who has played 101 AJHL games with the Dragons collecting 21 goals and 28 assists and 198 penalty minutes. He played Bantam AAA with the Calgary Bisons and appeared in five Midget AAA games with the Calgary South Flames before joining the Dragons as a 16-year-old in 2009.
He stands six feet tall and weighs 180 pounds.
'Sam is a very skilled forward who will be able to add depth to our top four forwards,” said Storm coach/general manager Blaine Bablitz. “He is committed to Fairbanks so he is a very dedicated and motivated player who is looking to have a big year.”
Yaremchuk, 19, played a year with the Storm collecting four goals and four assists along with 93 penalty minutes in 49 games. Matkink, 19, a speedy 5-foot-7 forward, is a native of Calgary. He had three goals and five assists with the Bobcats last year in 34 games after two seasons of Midget AAA hockey with the Calgary Royals where he had 30 points in 47 games.
“Jake is a great kid, that is very hard working and a heart and soul type player,Bablitz said. “He has the abilities to play multiple roles with our hockey team.”
Both new players are expected to be in the lineup when the Storm open the regular season on Friday in Sherwood Park against the Crusaders.