The Brandon Wheat Kings have dealt 19-year-old goaltender Connor Ungar to the Red Deer Rebels in exchange for fellow 19-year-old defenceman Mason Ward. The trade marks the first move made by the team’s new general manager Doug Gasper since taking over from Darren Ritchie one month ago.
“This trade allows us to add an experienced defenceman with good size, who is difficult to play against,” Gasper said in a team-issued press release. “His experience will be a valuable addition for our young defencemen that will be joining us next year.”
Leaving Brandon is a netminder who suited up in eight game with the Wheaties in 2020-21. Going 5-2-1 on the season, Ungar owned a 2.87 goals against average and a .904 save percentage, helping Brandon to the Subway Cup as victors of the 24-game East Division from the Regina Hub.
“Connor is a terrific person and this trade will allow him more opportunity to play and further his career,” Gasper added.
Heading to the Wheat City is a hulking 6-foot-5, 220-pound blueliner who has accumulated a penalty minute per game in his 83-game Western Hockey League career. In 21 games for the Rebels last season, the Lloydminster, AB. product had two goals and six points to go alongside 26 penalty minutes. The right-shooting defenceman will likely step into a shut-down role within a strong Wheat Kings defence corps.
Prior to jumping into junior hockey, Ward skated for two years within the Alberta U-18 AAA league as a member of the local Bobcats. He put up seven goals, 23 points and 108 penalty minutes in 66 total games. Ward also got a brief taste of junior at the end of the 2018-19 season, where he joined the AJHL’s Bobcats for nine games, putting up two points and six penalty minutes in the process.