The Humboldt Broncos weren’t overly busy at the January 10th trade deadline but General Manager Darcy Haugan is okay with that.
Heading into his second deadline day it was a different world for Haugan from a year ago. Mired in 11th place last year at this time Humboldt sold off their 20 year-olds to officially put the rebuild in place.
Up until Christmas, despite some injuries to top end players the Broncos went into the break in 4th place showing those transactions were paying off to an extent.
A big sweep of the Nipawin Hawks last weekend in their only two contests since December 17th complicated things perhaps.
This Broncos team was in no position to start moving older pieces yet they weren’t about to sell the farm for maybe a piece that puts them over the edge.
What the club’s management did along with Associate GM Brayden Klimosko is they simply got deeper without reshuffling the cupboards.
They acquired 6’7″ defenseman Trent Huitema from the Prince George Spruce Kings of the British Columbia Hockey League. A player development fee and Tim Vanstone’s rights go back.
Huitema played 46 games for the Surrey Eagles of the BCHL as a 17 year-old, he also dressed in eight games over the past two seasons with the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League. This season he is pointless in 11 games between Surrey and Prince George since being reassigned from the WHL.
“Trent adds a veteran presence on the back end,” Haugan said of the 18 year-old. “Obviously his size made him very attractive but after watching a lot of video we were very impressed with his skill set and skating ability. Trent also has some WHL experience. I believe that has helped him to be a very mature 1998 born defenseman.”
They also eyed more depth up front and that was accomplished with the acquisition of Brett Horn from the Battlefords Stars. The 20 year-old Greensboro, North Carolina born forward has 23 points in 35 games in his first and only season in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
“The last deal we made was to bring in some help at the forward position,” Haugan explained. “We believe Brett will provide us with secondary scoring, he can also play the half wall on the power-play which is something we were targeting. The other thing we liked about Brett is his ability to get to the tough areas of the ice, his goals he has scored were in the dirty areas.”
Prospect Matthew Fletcher and a 3rd round draft pick go to the Stars in the move.
The Broncos also sent Nic Malenica to Kindersley, Malenica hasn’t played since prior to the first cut down day on December 1st.
“Both pieces we believe will help us in our push for the playoffs,” Haugan concluded.
The Broncos return to action Sunday night at 6pm when they host the Notre Dame Hounds.