The Calgary Hitmen added some veteran experience to their blueline late Thursday afternoon acquiring 20-year-old defenceman Brock Sutherland from the Tri-City Americans in exchange for 19-year-old forward Nathan MacMaster.
Sutherland, a Brandon, MB product, brings experience (182 regular season games) and size (6'2" 205lbs.) to the Hitmen. He also has adds some grit with 15 career WHL scraps and stirs up a little offence picking up 23 points last season (4g 19a) while playing all 72 games. This is his fourth full season in the WHL first appearing with the Lethbridge Hurricanes before being traded to Tri-City as part of the Mitch Fadden deal in November of 2008. Through two games with the Americans this season, Sutherland was +5.
Here's a quote on from the Americans website from GM Bob Tory on Brock Sutherland, “He has developed into a very good, reliable defenseman in this league"
It should be a fairly easy transition to Calgary for Brock joining former fellow Americans on the Hitmen in Spencer Humphries and Brooks Macek.
Meanwhile there's no doubt MacMaster will be missed in the Hitmen dressing room, a well liked teammate who could also be counted on for hard work on the ice. However given the depth up front this season with 17 forwards GM Kelly Kisio dealt from a position of strength to help solidify the back end.
Of course another big unanswered question is will 20-year-old Ben Wilson return from the AHL's Lake Erie Monsters. I would suggest given the arrival of Sutherland in Calgary it would appear Wilson may be about to sign a pro contract. Time will tell but more moves are to come as the Hitmen now have five overage 20-year-olds on their roster: Jimmy Bubnick, Kenton Miller, Mike Snider, Brock Sutherland and Ben Wilson. The WHL max is three by October 13th.