EVERETT — Residents of Swift Current, Saskatchewan, might make a point of watching the upcoming Everett-Spokane playoff series, which commences on Saturday at Angel of the Winds Arena for Game 1.
Of the nine players that were shipped away from the rebuilding Swift Current Broncos, four will be playing in the series.
The Swift Current presence is especially strong in Everett, with overage blueliners Sahvan Khaira and Artyom Minulin, as well as 19-year-old forward Max Patterson. The Chiefs boast 19-year-old blueliner Noah King.
More so than the other two, Patterson and King are tied at the hip in terms of how they were traded and have jelled with their respective new clubs.
King and Patterson were traded a day apart in early December and three of Patterson’s first four — and in King’s case, five — contests in a Silvertips sweater were against the Chiefs.
It was nice conditioning for the former teammates, who now are mortal enemies for at least seven games.
“It’ll be fun, but we’re not teammates anymore,” Patterson said. “It’s no different than it would be against anyone else. We’ll be good after the series, but right now, we’re enemies.
“He knows my tendencies and I knows his. It’ll be fun to try and exploit his.”
Since the trade, Patterson has blossomed into a bonafide top-six forward and King has formed a pairing with Ty Smith, a first-round NHL draft pick by New Jersey.
Khaira repeated Patterson’s general sentiment, while also emphasizing what it means to have so many former Broncos from that WHL championship winning squad playing deep into the postseason again.
“It’s pretty special,” he said. “Obviously last year was a special year and it’s great to see other guys move on to other teams and I’m happy I’m here.”
Khaira was the first former Bronco to be traded to Everett, as well as the first to be traded in general, well before training camp. Minulin was shipped to Everett in late October.