The Prince George Cougars Hockey Club have acquired forward Kjell Kjemhus (01), defenceman Ethan McColm (02), along with a third round and fifth round pick in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft from the Regina Pats, General Manager Todd Harkins announced Friday.
In exchange, the Cougars sent the WHL playing rights of forward Jesse Gabrielle (97) and defenseman Jonas Harkins (00) to Regina.
“Jesse was a great player for us in his two seasons in Prince George and now he and Jonas get a great opportunity to play for a Memorial Cup in Regina,” said General Manager Todd Harkins. “Kjell and Ethan are two players that we’ve coveted since their Bantam Draft year, and will be a big part of our future going forward. Kjell already has invaluable playoff experience going back to last year, and Ethan continues to develop as an elite defenceman, and one day will be a regular on our blue-line.”
Kjell Kjemhus (pronounced ‘Chell Shay-moose’) is from Grande Prairie, Alberta, and has split this season between the Pats and the Pursuit of Excellence (POE) Academy in Kelowna, BC. Kjemhus played three games with the Pats and has played 30 games at POE with their Midget Prep team in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL), and their U-18 team in the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL). In 18 games in the CSSHL, Kjemhus has tallied four goals and seven points and has scored another four goals in 12 games in the NAPHL.
He suited up for 13 playoff games last season with Regina, picking up one assist and was a plus one, as the Pats won the WHL’s Eastern Conference Championship. The 16-year-old left-winger was drafted by the Pats in the fourth round, 77th overall, in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft. Kjemhus will wear number 12 with the Cougars.
15-year-old defenceman Ethan McColm is having a solid season in the Winnipeg City Midget AAA League, with the Eastman Selects. The Oakbank, Manitoba, native is third in team scoring and the team’s top-scoring defenceman with six goals and 20 points in 21 games. Last season McColm played for the Eastman Selects Bantam AAA team, picking up five goals and 16 points in 33 games, to go along with 32 penalty-minutes.
McColm was the Pats’ eighth round pick, 176th overall, in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft.
Jesse Gabrielle played in 21 games in the American Hockey League this season with the Providence Bruins, picking up a goal and registering four points. Last season with the Cougars, Gabrielle was third in team scoring with 35 goals and 64 points in 61 games. In two seasons with the Cougars, he amassed 75 goals and 139 points in 133 career regular season games. Gabrielle was drafted by the Boston Bruins, in the fourth round, in the 2015 NHL Draft.
Jonas Harkins was in his rookie season on the Cougars blue-line, picking up one assist in 14 games. His first WHL point came on New Year’s Day, in the Cougars 4-3 overtime loss against Vancouver. Last season the rear-guard played with the Cariboo Cougars in the BC Major Midget League (BCMML), where he won a BCMML championship. That, following a Western Canadian Bantam AAA Championship with the North Shore Winter Club. Harkins was the Cougars second round pick, 29th overall, in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft.
The Cougars are back home tonight, as they face-off against the Tri-City Americans at the CN Centre; puck drop is 7 pm. Tickets are available at the TicketsNorth box office, or online via www.ticketsnorth.ca.
-Prince George Cougars