The Kamloops Blazers added to their goaltending depth on Tuesday when they acquired Carter Phair from the Edmonton Oil Kings.
In return, the Blazers sent a fourth-round selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft to Edmonton.
The 6-foot-4, 185-pound Phair, who will turn 18 on Dec. 15, is from Carnduff, Sask. The Oil Kings selected him in the
10th round of the 2013 bantam draft.
Phair played most of last season with the SJHL’s Weyburn Red Wings, going 8-4 with three ties, along with a 2.47 GAA and .925 save percentage in 19 games. He recorded two shutouts.
Phair went to camp with the Oil Kings a year ago, but was sent to the Red Wings after getting into one exhibition game. The Oil Kings brought him back in late October after Alec Dillon suffered a season-ending injury. But Phair was returned to Weyburn after Edmonton acquired Payton Lee from the Vancouver Giants on Nov. 5. Phair was brought back to the Oil Kings later in the season and got into one game, playing 20 minutes and stopping five of six shots in a 7-2 loss to the Rebels in Red Deer on March 19.
On Sept. 2, Phair played half a preseason game for the Oil Kings, surrendering three goals on 14 shots in a 6-1 loss to the host Red Deer Rebels.
Phair’s arrival will leave the Blazers with four goaltenders on their roster, the others being starter Connor Ingram, 19; Dylan Ferguson, who turns 18 on Sept. 20; and Max Palaga, 16, who is from Kamloops and signed a WHL contract last week. Ferguson backed up Ingram last season.
Ingram is coming off a terrific season during which he caught the attention of Hockey Canada’s talent scouts. As a result, he took part in the national junior team’s summer development camp and put in a strong showing. That means there is a chance — a good one at that — that he could end up playing for Team Canada at the 2017 World Junior Championship. Should that happen, he would be gone from the Blazers for about a month.
Phair, then, provides the Blazers with one more option as they attempt to make sure that they have WHL-calibre goaltending in Ingram’s potential absence.
Of course, Ingram also will be leaving later this month to join the Tampa Bay Lightning’s prospects team at an NHL exhibition tournament in Coral Springs, Fla., Sept. 17-20. The Lightning selected him in the third round of the NHL’s 2016 draft. Should Ingram advance to Tampa Bay’s main camp, he could miss the start of the WHL’s regular season.
JUST NOTES: The Blazers have 31 players on their roster, including 16 forwards and 11 defencemen. As the month progresses, they will have nine players attending NHL camps. . . . The others are F Garrett Pilon (Washington Capitals), F Deven Sideroff (Anaheim Ducks), F Jermaine Loewen and F Rudolfs Balcers (both San Jose Sharks), F Collin Shirley and D Dallas Valentine (both Edmonton Oilers), D Dawson Davidson (Pittsburgh Penguins) and D Ondrej Vala (Dallas Stars). . . . The Blazers, who are 1-1-0 in the preseason, will be at home to the Kelowna Rockets (1-1-0) on Saturday, 7 p.m. The two teams first will meet Friday in the Little Apple.
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