When Ice defenceman Tanner Muth began contemplating retirement in the offseason, general manager Jeff Chynoweth decided to bring in another blueliner to add more depth to the back end.
That resulted in a deal for Clint Fildbrandt with the Tri-City Americans, as Chynoweth sent a Kootenay sent a fifth round pick down south for his services.
The tangible product of that deal is now in Cranbrook for training camp, and he likes what he sees.
“I heard lots about the organization, just a very winning organization and when I got the call from Jeff in the summer, I was very excited for my opportunity here, and I just got to make the best of it,” said Filbrandt.
Returning for his sophomore season in the WHL, Filbrandt had a connection with the franchise before arriving in Cranbrook, as he roomed with Chynoweth’s son, Ryan, while training throughout the summer in Calgary.
Taking advantage of opportunities was one of the main lessons he learned under Tri-City coach Jim Hiller last season.
“I learned that patience is a big thing in this league, be patient for your shot and you’ll get it,” Filbrandt said. “Just need to work hard everyday to get better, pretty much the bottom line.”
Filbrandt, 18, notched a goal and an assist last year in 31 games with the Americans.
Arriving in town in the middle of August, he’s been able to spend some time with the team outside of the rink and on the golf course for some team bonding.
Though it’s only a few days into training camp, he’s excited for the future.
“It’s an honour to play here and I’m just really excited for this year and hopefully we can keep that going,” Filbrandt said, “because I feel like we have a really good young team this year and I think we’ll surprise a lot of people.”