The best kind of trades are deals that benefit both parties.
That's what the Swift Current Broncos and Red Deer Rebels appear to have achieved with the trade that sent star Jake DeBrusk to Red Deer for emerging forward Lane Pederson, a 2017 1st round bantam pick and a 2016 3rd round pick.
DeBrusk brings a veteran scoring touch to the Memorial Cup hosts, while Pederson has become a go-to forward for the Broncos in a short period of time.
"It's a pretty special opportunity Mark (Lamb) and the coaching staff has given me," Pederson said. "Lots of responsibility and a much bigger role than I was accustomed to on my two previous team. It's a lot of fun. The guys are great, the coaching staff is great and the organization is great. I'm just really relishing and loving the opportunity that is being given to me."
For DeBrusk it was a surreal experience getting dealt away from the only WHL team he has even known since the Broncos drafted him in the 7th round of the 2011 bantam draft. He had some flash backs returning to Swift Current in Red Deer's 2-1 loss last Saturday.
"One of the weirdest experience of my life so far," DeBrusk said. "I've been a Bronco for the last five years going back to my draft. The only time I've ever been in this area of the arena was during training camp. Lots of memories and it's really weird."
Trade speculation followed DeBrusk from as far back as the end of last season when it became clear this would be his last season before turning pro.
"I heard it an awful lot," he noted. "I knew that was a possibility especially if we were struggling. I was hearing it from different reporters and you try to block that stuff out. Even guys on the team were talking about it... I've always wanted to win in Swift Current. That's what of the things I kind of regret is not being able to (win) even a playoff series. I just have really good memories here. It's tough to hear that stuff because you don't want it to happen, but I was put in a really good spot and a really exciting spot with this opportunity."
DeBrusk played 168 games in Swift Current and was a Boston Bruins draft pick in the first round of the most recent NHL draft. His time here will be fondly remembered by the organization.
"We really saw him grow as a hockey player and as a person," Lamb said. "He sure was small when we drafted him. He grew a lot and just got better all the time. He turned himself into a first round draft pick. He's done a lot for the organization. We wish him the best just not (against us)."
Statistically Pederson is actually outperforming DeBrusk since the trade. He has 14 points in 11 games to 13 points in 12 games for DeBrusk. Pederson is currently on the biggest roll of his career with all 14 of those points in a 9 game point streak.
While the transition has been strange, DeBrusk has enjoyed his new team.
"I'm really comfortable right now," he told us before last Saturday's game. "I've been banged up the last couple of games (and) I haven't been putting the puck in the net. I think my game is coming along and I'm getting healthier each game. The good thing about this team is even if I'm not producing someone else will. That's one of the things I've learned about this group is that anybody on this team can score... it's really exciting to be part of a team like this just coming to the rink and having that swagger."
They will need some of that offence tonight after only scoring once against a tight checking Broncos club last Saturday. For Swift Current points are vital this weekend in Red Deer and Calgary as they attempt to start erasing a ten point gap between them and the final playoff spot in the WHL Eastern Conference.
The Broncos also feature three other Rebels returning to Red Deer tonight. Goaltender Taz Burman shut his former club down last Saturday with 38 saves in his first win as a Bronco, while forwards Scott Feser and Austin Adamson are also former Rebels.
You can hear tonight's game live on The Eagle 94.1 FM at 7:30pm.