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T-Birds Acquire Bruggen-Cate, 2 First Round Picks, and Second Round Pick From Kelowna in Blockbuster Trade

Marissa Baecker

Seattle sends Jake Lee, Dillon Hamaliuk and Cole Schwebius to Rockets

KENT, May 2, 2019 — Seattle Thunderbirds general manager Bil La Forge announced this morning at the Bantam Draft the team has acquired left wing Conner Bruggen-Cate, a first round pick in 2019, a first round pick in 2022 and a second round pick in 2021 from the Kelowna Rockets in exchange for defenseman Jake Lee, left wing Dillon Hamaliuk and goalie Cole Schwebius.

“This was a difficult deal to make but we had a potential log jam on defense with the development of Bauer, Kubicek and McNelly last season,” said La Forge. “We felt we could give up a defenseman in this age group. Hamaliuk will be a great addition for Kelowna but these picks allow us to add to the great draft we had last year and pool a group of players together with all the elements needed to compete for a championship in the WHL.”

“In the WHL today it is very hard to gather a number of elite players together over two age groups,” continued La Forge. “This trade puts us in that position and it allows us to accelerate our timetable with the group of players coming in next season. This deal shines a very bright light on the future of the Thunderbirds.”

Kelowna’s first round pick was the 10th overall pick in the Bantam Draft.

Bruggen-Cate had five goals and nine assists for 14 points in 65 games last season with the Rockets. In the 2017-18 season Bruggen-Cate had 18 goals and 27 assist for 45 points in 70 games. In 200 career games over four seasons with the Rockets he has 26 goals and 46 assists for 72 points.

Lee had three goals and 21 assists for 24 points in 67 games last season. In two seasons with the T-Birds he has seven goals and 27 assists for 34 points in 135 games.

Hamaliuk had 11 goals and 15 assists for 26 points in 31 games last season. Hamaliuk missed the second half of the season with a lower body injury. In 120 games over three seasons with the T-Birds Hamaliuk has 27 goals and 39 assists for 66 points.

Schwebius had a 5-8-2-0 record in his rookie season last year. He had a 3.88 goals against average and a .886 save percentage.

Season Tickets for 2019-20 season are currently on sale. Season tickets can be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.

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