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Manitobans on the Move: Hamonic and Kolesar Traded

By Scott Taylor/Photos by Jeff Miller and Brian Liesse

On the second and final day of the 2017 NHL Draft, two Manitobans were moved. NHL star, defenseman Travis Hamonic of St. Malo, was dealt from the New York Islanders to the Calgary Flames while up-and-comer, Keegan Kolesar of the Seattle Thunderbirds/Columbus Blue Jackets, was sent from Columbus to the expansion Vegas Golden Knights.

Hamonic was traded to Calgary in exchange for a first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft and two second-round picks. New York will receive Calgary’s second-round choice in the 2018 draft and a second-round selection in 2019 or 2020. The Flames will get a fourth-round choice in 2019 or 2020.

“I’m really excited,” Hamonic told “I have a pretty awesome opportunity in front of me. When my wife and I woke up and saw the news, we were kind of in limbo wondering if it happened or not, and then we found out and we’re all pretty excited about going to Calgary, to say the least. That’s an understatement. We’re pretty jacked up.”

Travis Hamonic

Hamonic has long wanted to be moved to Western Canada to be closer to family and getting to play for a team that is obviously all-in, was exactly what he was after.

Meanwhile, Kolesar, who is one of the most promising players on the horizon, took his Seattle Thunderbirds to the Western Hockey League championship and a trip to the Memorial Cup. On Saturday, he was sent by the team that drafted him last year, the Columbus Blue Jackets, to the Golden Knights is exchange for pick No. 45 (second round) in Saturday’s NHL entry draft.

Kolesar, a Winnipegger, is a 6-foot-2, 227-pound right winger who finished as the WHL’s leading postseason scorer with 31 points in just 19 games. He’s big and strong and has scored 121 points in 118 WHL regular season games over the last two years. He was originally selected by Columbus with the 69th pick in 2015.

While he’s still eligible to return for Seattle for one more season, it’s likely he’ll start the 2017-18 season with Vegas’s AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves.

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