The Victoria Royals traded fan-popular and hard-driving forward Dino Kambeitz for a defenceman the club has long coveted.
The 19-year-old Kambeitz goes to the Lethbridge Hurricanes in return for 18-year-old blue-liner Nolan Jones in a Western Hockey League deal announced Tuesday.
“We’ve had our eye on Jones for a while. Our scouts have always had a hankering for him but he was gone before we could take him [41st overall in the second round of the 2016 WHL bantam draft],” said Royals GM Cameron Hope.
“He is a good all-round player. He was a leader on his bantam and midget teams and is at the stage now where he can show what he can be in the WHL.”
Kambeitz was selected by Victoria in the fifth round, 90th overall, in the 2015 bantam draft. The native of Parker, Colorado, has 20 goals and 43 points in his 138 career games for the Royals but that wasn’t truly indicative of his value as a tenacious player with an edge to his game, and he was knocking on the door of top-six forward status for this upcoming season.
“[Kambeitz] was waiting his turn,” allowed Hope.
The Royals, however, have an abundance of 19-year-old forwards. Jones is a year younger and the extra season he will provide Victoria on defence was a major factor in making the trade, said Hope.
“We are going to get two, possibly three, good seasons from Jones,” said the Royals GM.
“This was a deal that suits both teams’ needs well.”
The six-foot-two rearguard Jones, a Saskatchewan native more at home in his own end, has two goals and 13 points in 61 career games for the Hurricanes.
The Royals sent a 2021 fourth-round bantam draft pick to Lethbridge as part of the exchange.
Hope said another trade, also involving a defenceman, will be announced today but indicated that may involve a blue-liner being moved from the Royals. He would provide no further details Tuesday.
The Royals are preparing for the opening of training camp this month, ahead of the pre-season opener Aug. 30 in Kelowna against the Rockets.