The Swift Current Broncos made a move ahead of Thursday's trade deadline, acquiring 17-year-old forward Jay Merkley from the Lethbridge Hurricanes in exchange for 19-year-old forward Josh Derko and a third round pick in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft.
Merkley has 14 goals and eight assists in 44 games with Lethbridge this season. He posted 23 points in 58 games during his rookie season in 2011-12. The 5'11'' 187-pound Calgary native was the third overall pick of the Hurricanes in the 2010 Bantam Draft.
“He is a highly-touted, right-handed shot who has shown he can score,” says General Manager and Head Coach, Mark Lamb in a team media release. “His strong offensive skill will be a perfect fit for our team moving forward and we are excited to have him join us.”
Derko had 11 points and 68 penalty minutes in 31 games this season but has been out of the line-up with an injury since Dec. 4. He was selected by the Broncos in the fifth round of the 2008 Bantam Draft and has appeared in 143 regular season games in parts of four seasons with the Broncos.
“He’s a solid, popular player that has improved every year,” added Lamb. “He is the type of player every team wants and needs. He brings his passion for the game both on and off the ice every day and will be missed.”
Merkley is expected to be in the line-up on Wednesday when the Broncos host the Red Deer Rebels.