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Chiefs make two trades

Spokane Chiefs logo (The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane Chiefs logo (The Spokesman-Review)

The Spokane Chiefs beat Thursday’s Western Hockey League trade deadline by making two deals, highlighted by their acquisition of high-scoring forward Alessio Bertaggia from the Brandon Wheat Kings.

The Chiefs traded 19-year-old forward Marek Kalus, prospect Rhett Gardner and two draft picks to Brandon in exchange for the 19-year-old Bertaggia, a Swiss player who was leading the Wheat Kings in scoring with 16 goals and 18 assists in 30 games.

“Alessio gives us an elite player with very special skill,” Chiefs general manager Tim Speltz said. “He is a proven scorer in the WHL and has had a tremendous amount of experience internationally.”

Bertaggia ranks 48th in WHL scoring this season, but the majority of players ahead of him have played at least 10 more games.

Bertaggia, Brandon’s first-round selection in the 2011 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft, had 84 points in 94 career games with the Wheat Kings. He played for Switzerland at the last two World Junior Hockey Championships.

Kalus, limited to 11 games this season because of injury, played 101 career games with the Chiefs. He had 20 goals and 22 assists last season.

Gardner was the Chiefs’ second-round selection in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft.

In a separate trade, the Chiefs dealt 19-year-old forward Collin Valcourt to the Saskatoon Blades for a first-round selection in the 2015 bantam draft and a fifth-round selection in this year’s bantam draft.

Valcourt played in 163 games for Spokane. He had 13 goals and 10 assists this season, ranking seventh on the team with 23 points, and assisted on the winning goal in Wednesday night’s victory over Seattle.

In other moves, the Chiefs said Adam Smith, 18, who was added to the roster on a tryout basis at the start of the week, will remain for the rest of the season. The Chiefs reassigned defenseman Adam Power, 17, of Post Falls, to the Spokane Braves of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, and forward Tyson Predinchuk, 17, to the Melville Millionaires of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

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