The WHL trade deadline is January 10th, just 5 days after the World Junior Championship. A player isn't supposed to be traded during the tournament, but it does happen, it's just not officially announced until after the event. Here are a few blueliners who will be available leading up to the deadline. Some of these players may have already been dealt, but as mentioned it can't be announced until they return to their WHL teams.
Luca Sbisa of the Lethbridge Hurricanes is the biggest name among the teams that are out of or falling out of the playoff picture, and he'll add plenty of experience to any team with 47 NHL games already under his belt. But Sbisa does come with a buyer beware label. The Swiss product was recently hurt at the World Junior Championship. TSN's Bob Mckenzie is reporting that it's an ab/oblique tear and that he'll be out for atleast 4 weeks. But that's not the only reason teams might stay away from Sbisa. He's suiting up for his country at the Vancouver Olympics. That means whatever team trades for him, likely won't have him in the line up until March, meaning Sbisa will have less than 2 weeks to gel with his new teammates. Sbisa is 19 years old, but won't be back in the WHL next season.
Sbisa's injury/Olympic situation might make Dallas Jackson of Prince George more valuable at the 10th of January looms closer. The scouting report I received from a western conference management source is this:
"Best offensive upside guy available. A game changer, can run any power play, and can move up to forward if needed. All offence."Last year Jackson had 13 goals for the Cougars. This season he has 22 points in 24 games and is only -2, which is pretty impressive on a team that's won only 8 games and has given up a league high 172 goals this year. Jackson was hurt in a fight during training camp, but his healthy now and has played every game since his return. The 20 year old would give any team a big offensive boost on the back end, but said team will have to create an over age spot to get him. I'm told a couple of teams from each conference are sniffing around the versatile 6.02 skater and the list should grow as the deadline creeps up.
Another western conference defenceman that might be appealing is Jeremy Schappert of the Seattle Thunderbirds. Like Jackson he's 20, but doesn't come with the same offensive arsenal. He was drafted by Moose Jaw, but has only played for the US division basement dwelling Thunderbirds. Here's a scouting report on him from another scout.
"Very good skater, a depth dman. Good swing guy as he can play up front as well.
The wild card at the deadline might be Regina's Colton Teubert. The Pats loaded up a few weeks before losing Teubert and Jordan Eberle to the World Junior Championship. At the time they were in a playoff position, but they've now lost 9 straight and sit 10th and are 8 points back of the final playoff spot. Does Brent Parker unload Teubert and Eberle, or can the dynamic duo lead the Pats back to the pack?
If I've missed any trade bait players, let me know.