The Swift Current Broncos have entered what has been an intense arms race for this year's WHL trade deadline.
They added overage forward Ryley Lindgren from Lethbridge and a 2018 6th round bantam draft pick for 15-year-old forward Carson Dyck and a 2018 3rd round bantam pick.
"We're getting a little bit of everything," said Broncos Director of Hockey Operations Jamie Porter. "We're getting a guy that can play in our top six, he can kill penalties, he can play on the power play, he's skilled, he's responsible, he's a 200 foot guy, he's a tremendous character guy and he's a leader."
Lindgren became available when the Hurricanes acquired overage forwards Matt Alfaro, Zak Zborosky and a 2016 6th round bantam pick in exchange for forwards Colton Kroeker, Brett Davis, a 2nd and a 4th round pick in 2018.
That left Lethbridge with four overage players and only room for three.
"It's a guy that we didn't think would be available up until a few days ago," Porter said. "It's a guy that we've always thought highly of as have a lot of other teams in the league. We're excited that a player of this (caliber) was available at this time of the year for us. The right-handed shot; again all the pieces fit perfectly for us and that's just another one. It gives us that right-handed shot on the power play. Every little piece of this made sense for us."
The East St. Paul, Manitoba native has 14 goals and 28 assists in 42 games with the Hurricanes this season. He notched a personal best 27 goals in 2015-16.
There were a number of reasons he was a better fit than several of the overage players who have moved over the last week.
"I think his versatility is certainly a key asset," Porter said. "He's a skill guy also and the price made sense to us. We would have been cautious in getting involved in some of those other deals. This one made sense to us and Lindgren was a guy we've always had a lot of interest in."
Dyck is a Lethbridge native who has 41 points in 18 games playing in the Albert Midget 15-year-old league.
Swift Current was more comfortable trading their former 2016 2nd round bantam pick because they had doubts they could get him signed.
"At this time of year prices are high," Porter said. "This year has been quite high. We were not overly excited about having to give up a pick. In the case of Carson we started to get an understanding that this was going to be a bit of a recruiting issue. This gets him home in his hometown and potentially a chance to get back in the league. It was a price we were comfortable to pay to get Ryley Lindgren."
CTV Regina's Darrell Romuld reported Dyck had committed to Penn State in the NCAA and now it will be up to the Hurricanes to sell him on the WHL.
The Broncos aren't setting any particular bar of success as a result of this deal. They are hoping to show their group that they have faith in them to make an impact this season.
"We wanted to make this team stronger," Porter said. "Show our older guys that we believe in an opportunity for them and that this group can go somewhere. Have our younger guys hopefully get some solid playoff experience as well as watch how guys like Ryan Graham and Ryley Lindgren behave on a day-to-day basis. We've got leadership in our group and we're just adding to that group."
For Lindgren the deal caught him a little bit off guard as his name wasn't out there in the rumour mill.
"He was quite shocked," Porter said. "He's probably like everybody else and didn't see his name on any lists and didn't assume it would be. It takes a little time to process but when we had conversations with him this morning he's excited about the opportunity, he's looking forward to it and he's going to get himself packed up and get himself set."
Lindgren started his career with the Brandon Wheat Kings and has played 229 games in the league. He joined Lethbridge three years ago in the deal that saw Reid Duke and Macoy Erkamps shipped to Brandon. Lindgren found his offensive game with the Hurricanes and 117 points in 154 games for Lethbridge.
The deal for Swift Current comes shortly after their East Division rivals in Moose Jaw added overage forward Thomas Foster from Vancouver. The two clubs look like potential first round playoff opponents.
There is still another day to go before the trade deadline and the Broncos are still working the phones.
"If this was the last move we made I think we would be comfortable with that," Porter said. "We're comfortable taking this group in the playoffs. Are we having other conversations? Yes. Are we involved in anything imminent? I'm not sure I can say that. We're just having conversations to see if something else makes sense price-wise as well will help our group now."
Lindgren now becomes the third overage player for Swift Current. They picked up Ryan Graham from Saskatoon earlier this season for 2nd and 4th round bantam draft picks. Calvin Spencer is the other 20-year-old.
Broncos fans will likely get their first look at Lindgren in their colours when they host a re-shaped Kootenay Ice squad on Wednesday.