Victoria Royals acquire big defenceman from Tigers

The Victoria Royals are hoping defenceman Damon Agyeman provides a large-body presence in front of their net. The Royals acquired the six-foot-three, stay-at-home rearguard Friday from the Medicine Hat Tigers for a conditional sixth-round Western Hockey League U-15 draft pick in 2023. The Royals will also receive a ninth-round 2023 draft pick.

Agyeman has nibbled around the edges of the WHL with 21 games played over three seasons with the Tigers and with a goal and assist for two points and eight penalty minutes.

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“He is a big, strong left-handed defenceman who defends the net front,” said Royals GM and head coach Dan Price.

“It will be hard to get to the net against him.”

The move comes after the Royals traded six-foot-three hometown defenceman and 2018 first-round WHL U-15 draft pick Nolan Bentham to the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Thursday for a second-round selection in the 2024 WHL U-15 draft and seventh- and eighth-round picks in the 2022 draft. The Royals also received the playing rights to 17-year-old American forward Chase LaPinta.

Damon Agyeman
The Victoria Royals have acquired Damon Agyeman from the Medicine Hat Tigers. VIA MEDICINE HAT TIGERS

Price said he sees the second trade as complementing the first as the 19-year-old Agyeman basically replaces the 18-year-old Bentham on the Victoria blueline and adds more of a veteran presence to the young defence corps.

ICE CHIPS: The Royals drew the 22nd and last WHL slot Friday in the unweighted, random lottery for the 2021 CHL import draft to be held June 30. The WHL, OHL and QMJHL teams pick in turn in an order to be determined between the three major-junior leagues, meaning Victoria will actually select between 58th and 60th. Each CHL team is allowed two European import players. The Royals currently have one, returning forward Keanu Derungs, who represented Switzerland in the 2021 world junior championship.

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