Tri City Americans BIG Shakeup – Southam Traded – Playfair, Krasheninninikov Waived
A big personnel change this week for the Tri-City Americans.
General Manager-Governor Bob Tory announced Tuesday the Americans have traded 18-year-old forward Rodney Southam to the Kelowna Rockets, in exchange for a 5th round pick in the 2016 WHL Bantam (entry) draft. Southam, who signed in 2012, had played in 63 games, had 7 goals, 14 assists, and 53 penalty minutes. This year he appeared in ten games.
Other big moves, though, included the acquisition of 20-year-old forward Richard Nejezchleb (pronounced NEZJ-leb) from the Brandon Wheat Kings. Tory said the unusual combination of him being both an overage player with experience, and an import (European) player made it a great pick up for the team. The 6' 3" 210 lb. forward from the Czech Republic has scored 44 goals in 103 games over the last two seasons and early into the 2014-15 season. Nejezchleb was a 5th found draft pick by the New York Rangers in the 2014 NHL Draft, and was recently returned to the Wheat Kings after spending time in the Rangers camp and with the AHL Hartford Wolf Pack. Tory said he will bring increased scoring opportunities immediately.
To make room for Nejezgleb, and due to the need to get down to the league minimum of 3 overage (20-year-old) players the Americans placed Jackson Playfair and Russian (import) forward Semyon Krasheninninikov on waivers. Playfair, who came from Spokane in a trade, had already matched his season best mark of 4 goals 16 games into this season. Tory said Playfair had developed into a reliable player and the Americans were sad to see him go.
Krasheninninikov, who was the Americans 1st pick (18th overall) in the CHL Import draft this year, appeared in 8 games with the Ams, and scored his first career goal this last weekend in Victoria.
Nejezgleb is expected to join the Americans lineup and play immediately.