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Oil Kings add Sawchuk to forward group in deal with Americans

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Riley Sawchuk is the newest member of the Edmonton Oil Kings following a trade with the Tri-City Americans Thursday.

The Oil Kings added the talented forward from the U.S. Division club in exchange for a third-round selection in the 2021 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft.

“We are excited to have acquired Riley and look forward to the experience and leadership he will bring to our group,” said Oil Kings President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Kirt Hill. “Riley will help provide strength down the middle of our line-up, bring skill with a complete 200-foot game, and the ability to play in all situations.

“We are happy to welcome Riley and his family to the Oil Kings organization.”

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound forward is coming off a career-best season in the WHL where he recorded 53 points (20G-33A) in 67 games, including two power-play goals, one short-handed goal, and one game-winning goal. Sawchuk had 14 multi-point games throughout the 2018-19 WHL Regular Season, including one four-point game, one three-point game, and 12 two-point games. As part of those performances, he had three multi-goal games.

Sawchuk’s addition will help the Oil Kings, who will likely see their top three scorers from the 2018-19 season depart during the off-season.

Captain Trey Fix-Wolansky is eligible to return, but appears destined to begin his professional hockey career with the Columbus Blue Jackets organization. Overage forwards Vince Loschiavo and Quinn Benjafield completed their WHL careers last month as the Oil Kings advanced to the Eastern Conference Championship for the first time since 2014. Those three accounted for 218 points (89G-129A) during the regular season, including Fix-Wolansky’s team-leading 102 points.

The move also provides some clarity for the Americans, who had six 1999-born players on the roster for the 2019 WHL Playoffs. Anaheim Ducks prospect Kyle Olson and 2019 NHL Draft prospect Krystof Hrabik now represent the overage group at forward while Riley Bruce and Dom Schmiemann take up spots on the blue line. Star goaltender Beck Warm is also part of the team’s current core of overage players.

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