The Portland Winterhawks have made a trade with the Lethbridge Hurricanes in which Portland receives 19-year-old defenseman Luca Sbisa, Lethbridge’s first round pick in the 2010 CHL Import Draft and a fifth round pick in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft in exchange for 17-year-old defenseman Daniel Johnston, 18-year-old forward Jacob Berglund and Portland’s first round pick in the 2010 Import Draft.
Sbisa, who will represent Switzerland at the upcoming Olympics, brings 47 regular season games and one playoff game of National Hockey League experience to the Winterhawks. He played 39 games for the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2008-09 season, along with one postseason game. Sbisa had been drafted by the Flyers in the first round, 19th overall in 2008. Following last season his rights were traded to the Anaheim Ducks as part of the deal that sent Chris Pronger to Philadelphia. Sbisa then played eight games for Anaheim earlier this season before being returned to Lethbridge. In 47 regular season games with Philadelphia and Anaheim in the NHL, Sbisa has posted seven assists.
Sbisa suited up for his native Switzerland at the World Junior Championship earlier this month alongside current Winterhawk Nino Niederreiter. Sbisa suffered an abdominal injury at the tournament that could sideline him until next month’s Olympics, which run until February 28. Sbisa will then join the Winterhawks following the Olympics for the final six games of the regular season and the playoffs.
In 97 career games with Lethbridge, Sbisa has registered 11 goals and 50 assists for 61 points. He’s also suited up for 30 playoff games with the Hurricanes, and totaled five goals and 13 assists for 18 points.
“Luca Sbisa was a first round NHL draft pick, he’s played 47 games in the NHL, and next month will become an Olympian. His resume makes him one of the most prolific players in the WHL, and we believe he makes us a contender this season,” said Portland Winterhawks General Manager & Head Coach Mike Johnston. “While we’re fully aware it could be over a month before he suits up for the Winterhawks, it’s not often you get the chance to acquire a player of his caliber and it’s a move we’re very excited about. Trading Daniel and Jacob was a tough decision, but ultimately to acquire an elite player like Luca you have to give up talent in return.”
The Winterhawks drafted Johnston in the fifth round, 104th overall, of the 2007 WHL Bantam Draft. In 60 games over three seasons, Johnston has registered two goals and 11 assists for 13 points. The Winterhawks selected Berglund with their second round pick in the 2009 Import Draft. In his first season in Portland, Berglund has five goals and seven assists for 12 points.
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