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Wheat Kings make major trade

The Brandon Wheat Kings acquired highly-touted defenceman Ryan Pilon from the Lethbridge Hurricanes in a huge trade on Saturday.

The 6-foot-2, 212-pound blue-liner, who’s 17 years old and is eligible for this year’s NHL draft, was selected third overall by the Hurricanes in the 2011 Western Hockey League bantam draft and posted five goals, 28 points and 63 penalty minutes in 57 games last season. Pilon played in 17 this season, netting three goals and seven points, before requesting a trade earlier this month.

To get Pilon, who played in the under-18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in the summer, the Wheat Kings sent 19-year-old defencman Nick Walters, 18-year-old left-winger Taylor Cooper and the rights to 16-year-old defenceman Tanner Browne, who was taken 35th overall in the 2012 bantam draft, to Lethbridge. Walters, a St. Louis Blues draft choice, has two assists and 24 penatly minutes this season, while Cooper has seven goals in 22 games.

As part of the deal, the Wheat Kings have also acquired the rights to Colt Conrad, a 16-year-old centre from St. Alphonse. Conrad finished in a tie for the scoring lead in the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League last season with 25 goals and 67 points. He’s currently playing with the Shattuck-St. Mary’s midget program in Minnesota and was recently named to Team West for the World under-17 Hockey Challenge. He has also verbally committed to play NCAA hockey at Western Michigan University starting in 2015.

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