The Calgary Hitmen, three days in advance of the WHL Trade Deadline, completed a deal with the Victoria Royals on Monday. The club has added 19-year-old stay at home defenceman Jesse Zgraggen in exchange for a fourth round pick in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.
Zgraggen was playing in the Royals top four this season as a shutdown defenceman with captain Tyler Stahl. Never drafted, he was listed by the Tri-City Americans and played Junior A in Brooks with the Bandits. He attended a pro camp this past summer in Switzerland (HC Ambri-Piotta), coached by former NHL and WHL Head Coach Kevin Constantine and is fluent in Swiss.
At 6'1" 213 pounds from Lethbridge, Alberta, Zgraggen is in his third season in the Western Hockey League.
So how did Zgraggen react to the news? I think his tweet sums it up. @Jziggy93 Excited to be part of the hitmen! Can't wait to re unite with @ZaneZila_ #tuna #AlbertaBound
His addition gives the Hitmen eight defenceman leaving the question is there another roster move to come or is the team comfortable carrying an extra two blueliners in case of injury down the road. The option also exists to play someone up front as a forward as we saw from Darian Henry earlier this season before his trade to Regina.
Jesse Zgraggen's WHL History
2012-13 Regular Season Victoria Royals 33GP 1G 6A 7PTS 0+/- 34PIM
2011-12 Regular Season Victoria Royals 62GP 2G 10A 12PTS -18 54PIM
2010-11 Regular Season Chilliwack Bruins 62GP 1G 2A 3PTS -9 27PIM
Total: 157GP 4G 18A 22PTS -27 115PIM
2012 WHL Playoffs Victoria Royals 4GP 0G 1A 1PTS -3 0PIM
2011 WHL Playoffs Chilliwack Bruins 5GP 0G 0A 0PTS -2 0PIM
Total: 9GP 0G 1A 1PTS -5 0PIM