Vancouver Giants general manager Glen Hanlon has been busy on Western Hockey League trade deadline day, trading one of his goaltenders, a depth forward and a defenceman.
In his biggest deal of Wednesday, Jan. 10, Hanlon acquired a 19-year-old forward he describes as a “game changer.”
The Giants acquired Surrey product Davis Koch and a conditional pick in the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft from the Edmonton Oil Kings in exchange for 1999-born forward Brendan Semchuk, 2000-born goaltender Todd Scott, and a third-round pick in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft.
Originally selected by Edmonton in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft, the six-foot, 165-pound Koch has suited up in 225 career WHL regular season games, all with the Oil Kings.
During that span he has produced 59 goals, 99 assists (158 points) along with 34 penalty minutes.
In 40 games this season with the Oil Kings, the skilled, left-shooting Koch recorded 18 goals along with 21 assists for 39 points.
His best WHL season (so far) took place in 2016-17 where he notched 21 goals and 49 assists for 70 points in 72 games played, which led his team in scoring. Koch, who was named an alternate captain of the Oil Kings at the start of the 2017-18 season, also has 11 games of WHL playoff experience on his resume.
“Davis Koch is a dynamic player, a game-changer, and a proven scorer in the WHL and his leadership and experience will be a welcomed addition to our organization,” Hanlon said. “Heading into the trade deadline we made it our goal to add as much character, leadership and experience as possible, and Davis Koch checks all of those boxes for us. He’s very excited about returning to the Lower Mainland and playing hockey in front of friends and family on a nightly basis.”
Acquiring Koch had a price in the form of Semchuk, who was drafted by the Giants 10th overall in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft. The Kamloops product has registered 17 goals and 24 assists for 41 career points in 127 games spanning the last three seasons with the Giants.
They also swapped a goaltender in the deal, in Scott, a 10th-round pick of the Giants in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft.
Scott compiled an 8-7-3-1 recordin 20 appearances with the Giants in 2017/18, and has appeared on the two most-recent NHL Central Scouting ‘Players to Watch’ lists.
Hanlon thanked Semchuk and Scott “for their contributions to our hockey club.”
The Giants GM added, “We wish them the very best as they continue their hockey careers with a first-class organization like the Edmonton Oil Kings.”
G-Men recall puckstopper
With Scott moving to Edmonton, the Giants recalled 2001-born goaltender Trent Miner for the remainder of the season.
A six-foot, 172-pound product of Souris, Man., Miner was selected by the Giants in the first-round (20th overall) of the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft.
In 30 appearances with the Brandon Wheat Kings Midget AAA team, he has posted a 17-3-0-0 record with a .941 save percentage, 1.64 goals-against-average, and two shutouts.
Hanlon said the Giants are very excited to welcome Miner back to Vancouver.
“He’s very excited to begin his WHL career,” Hanlon said.
King-Cunningham off to Tri-City
Hanlon made another deal on deadline day, sending 2000-born defenceman Austin King-Cunningham (Pilot Butte, Sask.) to the Tri-City Americans in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft.
King-Cunningham suited up in five games with the Giants earlier this season and recorded seven penalty minutes.
Between this season and last, King-Cunningham has played eight total games with the Giants and recorded one assist in that span.
In 16 games this season with the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Estevan Bruins, King-Cunningham has three assists and 96 penalty minutes.