By Carter Brooks
Photo by Marissa Baecker
The Brandon Wheat Kings made two trades prior to the Western Hockey League's trade deadline late this past week.
On Wednesday, the Wheaties dealt fifth-year, overage defenceman Schael Higson to the Kelowna Rockets for fourth-year blueliner Braydyn Chizen and a 2019 fifth round bantam draft selection. Then GM Grant Armstrong moved fellow defender Chase Hartje to Kootenay for a 2019 third round pick.
Chizen, 20, won't be hard to miss on the ice. Standing 6-foot-7 and weighing in at 210 pounds, he is a force to reckon with on the back end. The St. Albert native has spent his entire WHL career in Kelowna, putting up 11 goals, 34 points and 233 penalty minutes in just over 200 contests with the Rockets.
The right-handed shooting blueliner was selected by the Minnesota Wild in the seventh round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, and was inserted into Brandon's lineup Friday night against Red Deer. He finished the night a +1, despite losing the game 5-3 to the visitors.
Hartje spent exactly one calendar year with Brandon, after being acquired last season as a part of the return for former world junior star and Los Angeles Kings' draft pick Kale Clague. Hartje put up four goals and 12 points in 35 games for the Wheat Kings in the 2018-19 season.