Saskatoon Blades acquire Leafs prospect Fraser Minten from Kamloops in blockbuster deal

Toronto Maple Leafs' Fraser Minten is pictured during NHL preseason hockey action against the Detroit Red Wings in Toronto, on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young. CHY

The Saskatoon Blades just added one of the top prospects in the WHL to their roster as part of a blockbuster trade with the Kamloops Blazers.

The Blades officially announced that they’ve acquired Kamloops Blazers captain Fraser Minten in exchange for first-round WHL draft picks in 2024 and 2025, a fourth-round pick in 2024 and Jordan Keller.

Minten is currently the Toronto Maple Leafs top prospect. He was drafted 38th overall by the Leafs in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. In October 2022, Minten officially became Toronto property when he signed a three-year entry-level deal. Prior to returning to Kamloops to begin the 2023-24 season, Minten suited up in four regular season games with the Leafs.

“We’ve been hesitant in the past to move first round picks for one-year players but we feel our team, our fans, and the city deserve the best opportunity possible to win our very first WHL championship,” Saskatoon Blades president and general manager Colin Priestner said.

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“Adding an extremely high character 6-foot-2 centre with top-end skill and NHL experience was something we needed to give us the best chance at achieving that dream.”

The Vancouver, B.C. product has been one of the WHL’s premier scorers throughout his 151-game career. Minten’s produced 150 points (58 goals, 92 assists) during that stretch, and is a +49. The left-handed shot’s best season came last year in 57 games with the Blazers, scoring 31 goals and 67 points alongside 55 penalty minutes.

“Fraser brings all the elements we’ve been looking for: passion, compete, high skill level, size, Memorial Cup experience, not to mention four games of NHL regular season action with Toronto,” Priestner said.

“Everyone we spoke to over the last month has raved about his character, his desire to win, and the leadership he brought as captain of the Blazers. We targeted him as our number one priority to acquire this year.”

The Blades (15-8-0-0) are currently in second place in the WHL’s Eastern Conference.

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