The Tips acquired some forward depth this morning, picking up 18-year-old center Remi Laurencelle from Lethbridge in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the 2014 bantam draft and a conditional sixth rounder in 2015. The conditional pick is performance based, though the details were not disclosed.
Laurencelle was originally an eighth-round pick in the 2010 bantam draft by Lethbridge. The Winnipeg, Manitoba, native stands at 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds. In 30 games with the Hurricanes this season he had a goal and nine assists.
Talking with Tips general manager Garry Davidson, this trade has two purposes. First, Everett has been short bodies at forward lately, and Laurencelle helps cover that for the time being.
But Davidson made this deal sound like it was made more with the future in mind. Laurencelle hasn’t produced much offensively during his season-and-a-half in the WHL — five goals and 21 assists in 100 games. However, he has a scoring pedigree at the midget level, putting up big numbers (24 goals and 49 assists in 43 games) as a 16-year-old with the Winnipeg Wild in 2011-12, when he was a linemate of former Everett prospect Geordie Maguire (who won the league scoring title that season). Davidson is hoping some of that offensive potential develops, particularly for next season.
The sixth rounders are something the Tips have in abundance. By my count Everett had three 2014 6th rounders before the trade, so it made sense to move one of those for a player.
Davidson also mentioned that the Tips are still in the market for a forward who can score. While Laurencelle is a player who could develop into a scorer, Davidson is still seeking a player who can be counted upon to provide offense immediately. So perhaps the Tips aren’t done dealing yet. It also indicates Everett is a buyer instead of a seller as the Jan. 10 trade deadline approaches, though that seemed the likelier case anyway.
Finally, the Tips have reassigned defenseman Jordan Wharrie back to his junior B team, the Port Moody Panthers of the PJHL. The 16-year-old played five games for the Tips to help cover for the absences of internationals Mirco Mueller, Kevin Davis and Noah Juulsen, who return this week. Wharrie grew into the role during his short stint, and he gave the Tips some good shifts in the new year’s eve game against Victoria, so he looks like one for the future for Everett.