The Portage Terriers injected some youth into their forward group – and will need to name a new captain.
As part of a three-team deal, the Terriers traded the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) playing rights of 20-year-old forwards Adam Wowryk and Rhett Lough, and a fourth-round pick to the Winnipeg Blues for the CJHL playing rights of forwards James McIsaac, 17, Takato Cox, 18, and Aiden Buhler, 17, the team confirms.
Lough was flipped after being acquired in a prior deal with the Waywayseecappo Wolverines in exchange for 18-year-old forward Ryan Mignault and the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) list rights of 17-year-old forward Ethan Stuckless.
“Moving Wowryk was a tough decision. He was a very good captain this year and a big piece of our Turnbull Cup championship team last season,” Terriers head coach/GM Blake Spiller says. “Adam is a player who plays much bigger than his stature and will make the Blues instantly better.”
“Acquiring McIsaac, Cox and Buhler obviously makes us younger up front,” Spiller continues. “All three will bring speed, energy and skill, and we're looking forward to getting them into our lineup.”
A Winnipeg native, Wowryk had 14 points (4-10—14) and 28 penalty minutes in 17 games with the Terriers this season. The 5-foot-8 winger put up 57 points (21-36—57) during the 2015-16 campaign.
McIsaac, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound forward, recorded 15 points (6-9—15) in 17 games with Winnipeg this season – his second in the MJHL. As a rookie during the 2015-16 campaign, the 17-year-old Winnipeg native had 17 points (8-9—17) in 49 games. He was a sixth-round pick, 120th overall, of the Brandon Wheat Kings in the 2014 WHL draft.
In 18 games with Winnipeg this season, Cox, of Redondo Beach, U.S.A., put up seven points (3-4—7). The 5-foot-8, 165-pound winger spent most of the 2015-16 season with the Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League's St. Boniface Riels, scoring 41 points (23-18—41) in 41 games.
Buhler, of Mitchell, Man., was held pointless with eight penalty minutes in 10 games with the Blues this season – his first in the MJHL. The 5-foot-8, 161-pound winger is a product of the Pursuit of Excellence program in Kelowna, B.C. He had 24 points (5-19—24) and 46 penalty minutes in 36 games with the Pursuit of Excellence prep team last season.