Revel comes to Kamloops, Thomson’s time with Blazers ends
The Jordan Thomson saga in Kamloops ended when the Blazers swung a deal with the Saskatoon Blades on Wednesday, Jan. 8.
Kamloops acquired highly skilled forward Matt Revel, 17, a third-round WHL bantam draft pick in 2016 and a conditional second-round pick in either 2014 or 2015 in exchange for Thomson, 17, forward Mitch Lipon, 17, and a first-round pick in 2015.
Thomson, a defenceman who was selected fourth overall by Kamloops in the 2011 draft, left the Blazers in November and headed home to Wawanesa, Man., citing a personal matter as the reason for his departure.
KTW contacted Thomson’s agent, J.P. Barry, on Thursday, Jan. 9, and asked if he could provide any more insight on Thomson’s situation.
“It’s personal reasons and family reasons and he just wanted to be closer to home,” Barry said.
“He’s been practising locally and skating and he’s doing fine.”
The Blazers will receive the conditional second-round pick from the Blades should Thomson suit up anywhere in the WHL either this season or next.
Barry said Thomson plans on returning to the Dub, but the agent was unsure if the D-man would report to Saskatoon.
Thomson is “unlikely” to play for the Blades, said Bonner, “but I’m not sure what he’s going to do.”
It’s believed Thomson’s first-choice team is the Brandon Wheat Kings.
In retrospect, picking Thomson fourth overall in 2011 seems like a mistake, with Kamloops product Joe Hicketts, selected 12th overall that year by the Victoria Royals, developing into a top-flight blue-liner.
It is tough, however, to cast blame on the Blazer brass for not predicting Thomson’s current ordeal, which Miss Cleo might find surprising.
Revel, an Abbotsford product, is the obvious centrepiece of the deal for Bonner and the Blazers.
When KTW caught up with him, the 5-foot-11, 177-pound playmaker was about to catch a flight and meet his new teammates in Spokane, where Kamloops will play the Chiefs on Friday.
“To come back to B.C. is something that’s big for both me and my family,” said Revel, who joins the stockpile of 15-, 16- and 17-year-old forwards Blazer management believes has championship pedigree.
“I definitely see a lot of potential in the group. For me, this is the best situation and it’s going to be nothing but good things for the rest of the year and in the years to come.”
The Blazers are dwelling in the Western Conference cellar at 10-28-2-2, while the Blades are second last in the Eastern Conference at 12-29-1-3.
“Obviously, winning is fun, but both teams are in a rebuild stage and it’s tough, but you have to work out of it,” said Revel, who has nine goals and 25 points in 43 games this season.
“I’ll get a lot of ice, so that’s good for me.”
Lipon will not get the chance to fill his big brother JC’s skates in Kamloops, leaving the Blazers with seven points, two of them goals, after 34 games.
JC, who signed with the Winnipeg Jets in the summer, has six goals and 17 points this season with the St. John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League. He finished his Blazer career with 188 points.
Thomson ends his stint in the Tournament Capital with three goals and 25 points.
“We got better now and in the future,” Bonner said.
“We’ve advanced the rebuild here, bringing in a real talented, skilled 96-born player.
“He [Revel] never got drafted, with the reason being he was a real tiny guy that year, but he’s a guy that proved a lot of people wrong.”