Raiders ship Busenius and Winther in pair of deals

Staff ~ The Prince Albert Daily Herald
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Just hours after trouncing the Saskatoon Blades 5-2 at the Art Hauser Centre on Friday, the Prince Albert Raiders struck a deal with the provincial rivals and the Calgary Hitmen.

The Raiders announced early this morning a pair of transactions sending defenceman Dylan Busenius to the Blades and centre Mike Winther to the Hitmen.

Busenius was a healthy scratch in Friday's tilt against the Blades, while Winther was sidelined with an upper body injury suffered early in December.

In exchange for Busenius and a pair of 2014 WHL Bantam Draft picks, the Raiders will receive overage left wing Collin Valcourt and 18-year-old defenceman Ryan Coghlan from the Blades.

“We would like to welcome Collin and Ryan to our organization," Raiders GM Bruno Campese said in a press-release on Saturday. "Collin is a big, power-forward type player who will complement our current mix up front well and Ryan is a young, right-handed defenceman that will fit in with our group of defence."

Valcourt has tallied 134 points in 231 games over five WHL seasons with the Blades and the Spokane Chiefs, he has 14 goals and 24 assists in 36 games so far this season in Saskatoon. The rookie Coghlan has 10 points patrolling the blue line in 36 games for the Blades this season.

Acquired by the Raiders from the Medicine Hat Tigers last season, Busenius has tallied 16 points in 34 games in his second year with the Raiders and at one point served as an alternate captain.

“We would like to thank Dylan for his contributions to our organization and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours,” Campese said in the release.

In the other deal struck by the Raiders this morning, the Hitmen acquired Raiders centre Mike Winther, a Dallas Stars prospect selected in the second round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Winther has been plagued by injuries this season and has appeared in just 18 games for the Raiders, scoring three goals and 11 assists in his fourth season with the team.

In exchange for Winther, the Raiders received forward Calder Brooks and a second round pick in the 2014 Bantam Draft.

“He is a versatile player that can play in many situations and will fit in nicely with our current mix of forwards,” Campese said of Brooks.

Winther was considered a critical piece of the Raiders offensive unit, however having missed 18 games due to injury and susensions this season, he has failed to replicate his scoring prowess of his previous two seasons.

Last season, Winther scored 50 points and in 2012 he netted a career-high 32 goals for the Raiders.

Brooks, a native of Emerald Park, has scored 17 points in 31 games this season. In 107 WHL games, he has tallied a total of 52 points.

The new look Raiders are on the road to play the second game of their home and home series against the Blades at the Credit Union Centre on Saturday and will continue on the road to face the Regina Pats on Monday at the Brandt Centre. 

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