Brandon, MB. – The Brandon Wheat Kings have announced a major deal on this, the morning of the Western Hockey League’s Trade Deadline.

The Wheat Kings have announced that 19-year old center Brayden Schenn has been traded to the Saskatoon Blades in exchange for two first round, one second round, an import pick and two highly touted prospects.

In exchange for the Saskatoon product, Brandon receives the Blades` first round bantam picks in both 2011 and 2012. As well, the Wheat Kings get Saskatoon`s second round pick this year as well as the Blades` first round selection in the 2012 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft.
In addition to the four draft picks, the Wheat Kings obtain the Blades` top two 15-year old prospects – center Tim McGauley of Wilcox, Saskatchewan and Keloowa defenceman Ayrton Nikkel.

“This trade is a very important trade for our franchise,” says Wheat Kings’ coach and general manager Kelly McCrimmon. “We felt that it was important to recover from some of the moves we made to build our team for last season’s Memorial Cup. When we were awarded the Cup in October 2008, we felt then that it might be a three year process with today’s move being part of that process.”

McGauley and Nikkel were the Blades two top picks in last year`s WHL Bantam Draft, going 20th and 42nd overall respectively.
A member of the Regina AAA Pat Canadians, McGauley has scored seven goals and 13 points in thirty games. During the 2009-10 season, the 5`10“ 165 lb McGauley scored 56 goals and 103 points for the Lumsden – Bethune Contacts.
A 6`170 lb blueliner, Nikkel has ten goals, 30 points and 57 penalty minutes in 33 games this season with the Program of Excellence Midgets in Kelowna.

“Acquiring picks and prospects that include three first round bantam draft selections, and two second round picks, along with a 1st round Import draft choice was a return we could not afford to ignore,” McCrimmon went on to say.

While McGauley has already dressed for five Blades’ games this winter, Nikkel made his WHL debut during Saskatoon’s western road swing earlier this year.
Chosen the Most Valuable Player at this year`s World Junior Hockey Championship in Buffalo, Schenn spent three full seasons in Brandon, before spending the first two months of the 2010-11 regular season with the National Hockey League`s Los Angeles Kings. In two games with Brandon before leaving for National Junior Selection Camp in Toronto, the 3-time Wheat Kings scoring champion had a goal and 4 points.
During his WHL career, the former first round bantam draft choice of the Wheat Kings has scored 95 goals, 264 points in 197 games. In 33 playoff games, the former Eastern Conference First All Star has eighteen goals and 40 points.

“Brayden is one of the finest players and people to ever wear our uniform,” says McCrimmon. “It was an honour to have him in our organization. We wish him the best.”

In addition to Schenn, the Blades receive Brandon’s third round bantam pick in 2012.

This is the second deal made by the Wheat Kings in the past five days. On Wednesday, Brandon sent overage defenceman Darren Bestland to the Vancouver Giants in exchange for 20-year old center Matt MacKay and a fourth round pick in the 2012 WHL Bantam draft.

The WHL Trade Deadline is 4pm CST Monday.

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