WLA Burrards trade first-round pick for local talent

The Maple Ridge Burrards pulled off a trade that brought them a hometown talent in Luke Gillespie.

The Maple Ridge Burrards pulled off a trade that brought them a hometown talent in Luke Gillespie.

The Burrards parted with their first-round pick in the coming WLA entry draft, set for Feb. 10.

Burrards GM Daren Fridge conceded that the New Westminster Salmonbellies will likely get a good player in the coming draft at fourth overall, but he is happy with the deal.

First, Ridge gets Gillespie, who was drafted by the ’Bellies third overall last year, and they also get the New West first pick in the 2017 draft. So, in effect, they get two first-round picks for one.

And Fridge said he’s excited to add Gillespie, who is a strong all-around player on the left side. He can play a physical game, has a strong underneath move, and a fantastic release in tight, said Fridge.

“We know he can step right in, and we get a hometown boy,” said Fridge. “We know we’re getting a quality guy.”

Gillespie had a solid rookie campaign, with 15 goals and 31 points in 12 games last year.

“We’re thrilled to get him, and he’ll have an immediate impact.”

Fridge said the deal was possible because the Salmonbellies had depth on the left side