The Cougars struck a massive deal before the WHL Trade Deadline this afternoon, sending captain Dennis Cholowski and the playing rights to goalie Ty Taylor to the Portland Winterhawks in exchange for two prospects and five draft picks.
Cholowski was in his first season with the Cougars, and at the time of the trade was tied for the team lead in scoring with 39 points.
“Dennis is a great kid, who came in here this season and blew us away with his character and leadership qualities,” said Cougars general manager Todd Harkins in a release. “He’s one of the most exciting players to watch in our league and he’s getting a great opportunity in Portland.”
But the rebuilding Cougars are looking to get younger, and in return acquired 2000-born forward Iliyah Colina, and 2001-born forward Connor Bowie, who is from Fort St. John. They also added five draft picks; a first-round WHL Bantam Draft selection in 2020, second-round selections in 2018 and 2019, a third-round selection in 2020, and a conditional sixth-round selection in 2019.
“We’re not only getting two players we believe will make an impact going forward, but these draft picks over the next three years will help set this team up for years to come,” said Harkins.
Cholowski was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the first-round, 20th overall, in the 2016 NHL Draft, and signed with the Cougars in August 2017. He was the Cougars tenth-round pick, 200th overall, in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.
“I really enjoyed my time with such a first-class organization", said Cholowski. “From the coaches, front office, my teammates to the community, it’s been a fantastic experience and an honour to be the captain. I’ll cherish my time in Prince George and the lasting memories I made here.”
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