Corona, CA: WHL trade deadline

The Kamloops Blazers don’t have to concern themselves with trying to shut down Kevin Sundher anymore.

The Victoria Royals dealt Sundher, the franchise’s all-time leading scorer, to the Brandon Wheat Kings on Monday evening, less than 24 hours before the WHL’s trade deadline arrives.

In exchange for Sundher, 19, the Royals got defenceman Jason Fransoo, 18, forward Dakota Conroy, 16, and Brandon’s first-round pick in the 2012 bantam draft. The Wheat Kings still own the Saskatoon Blades’ 2012 first-round selection, which Brandon received last January as part of a blockbuster deal in which forward Brayden Schenn went to Saskatoon.

Sundher was a third-round selection by Buffalo in the 2010 NHL draft and has signed with the Sabres. He has 64 points in 40 games this season, leaving him seventh in the WHL scoring race. The Surrey native goes to Brandon with 240 points in 254 career regular-season games. He is the franchise’s all-time leading scorer and is second in games played.

The Royals left Monday on an East Division road swing that opens Friday against the Regina Pats. The bus was about to leave Victoria when Sundher was taken off and informed of the trade.

The Blazers have three games left against the Royals. They’ll play in Victoria on Jan. 27 and 28, then conclude the season series in Kamloops on Feb. 22. To date, the Blazers are 5-0-0 against the Royals.

In 28 career games against the Blazers, Sundher put up 25 points, including 10 goals.

“We sure hear some good things about him; he will fit in well here,” Brandon general manager Kelly McCrimmon said. “We watched him a lot; he is a talented player.”

Sundher is expected to make his Brandon debut on Wednesday against the visiting Saskatoon Blades. The Royals are to play in Brandon on Saturday.

Fransoo, a seventh-round pick by the Ottawa Senators in the 2011 NHL draft, is in his sophomore season. He has 11 points in 41 games. The Wheat Kings selected him in the fifth round of the 2008 bantam draft.

Conroy, a third-round bantam draft pick in 2009, has eight points in 37 games this season.

The Royals (13-24-5) hold down the Western Conference’s last playoff spot, but are just three points ahead of the Prince George Cougars (13-25-2).

The Wheat Kings (22-17-2) are eighth in the Eastern Conference, but are only six points out of third.

Meanwhile, the Portland Winterhawks acquired centre Cam Reid, 20 from the Edmonton Oil Kings for a 2012 eighth-round bantam draft pick.

Reid, from Delta, is leaving the NCAA’s St. Cloud State Huskies. A sophomore, he had 15 points in 22 games with the Huskies. A seventh-round selection by the Nashville Predators in the 2009 NHL draft, Reid told Mick Hatten of the St. Cloud, Minn., Times that he has been told he will centre Ty Rattie, the WHL’s leading scorer, and Sven Bartschi on Portland’s first line.

In another deal, the Vancouver Giants acquired defenceman Tyler Vanscourt, 19, from the Moose Jaw Warriors for a 2012 fifth-round bantam draft pick.

The Giants had been shopping for a puck-moving defenceman and hope they found one in Vanscourt, who is from Corona, Calif. Vanscourt, who has 21 points in 40 games this season, is joining his fourth team this season. He began with the Spokane Chiefs, who dealt him to the Prince Albert Raiders. They, in turn, moved him to Moose Jaw.

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