The Kootenay Ice have traded 18-year-old goaltender Jayden Sittler to the Victoria Royals in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft.
The deal was announced Wednesday morning.
“We thought it was a great opportunity for Jayden,” said Kootenay Ice general manager Jeff Chynoweth over the phone from Saskatoon Wednesday afternoon. “He wasn’t going to play here with Keelan Williams winning the backup position. This was an opportunity for him to go to another organization who has had a lot of interest in him before.”
Sittler attended Victoria Royals training camp on a try-out basis in 2011 prior to heading over to Cranbrook for Kootenay Ice camp on a similar try-out. The Ice liked what they saw from the Red Deer native and listed him as a 15-year-old.
Sittler suited up for one game with the Ice during the 2013-14 campaign. He was recalled by the team on an emergency basis after Mackenzie Skapski was unable to dress Nov. 20, 2013 due to injury. Wyatt Hoflin started the road game in Red Deer, but Sittler came on in relief and turned aside 17 shots for a come-from-behind victory over the Rebels.
After being beat out by Keelan Williams for the backup role this September, Sittler was assigned to the Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. In four games with the Oil Barons, Sittler is 2-2-0 with a 3.04 goals-against average and .903 save percentage.
“If [the WHL] came calling again, I’d have to think hard, that’s my primary concern right now,” Sittler told Robert Murray of Fort McMurray Today Oct. 2. “This is my second opportunity and I hope to make an impression on this team just incase I need it in the future.”
In an interview with Victoria Royals play-by-play announcer Marlon Martens, Royals general manager Cam Hope said the acquisition of Sittler was spurred when backup goaltender Evan Smith was injured in practice Oct. 21.
The Royals next action comes Oct. 24 when they host the Vancouver Giants.