On Wednesday, the Thunderbirds bolstered their 19-year-old forward group by acquiring Blake Bargar from the Victoria Royals in exchange for Anthony Bishop, who spent much of last season switching between forward and defense for the T-Birds.
The 19-year-old Bargar registered 10 points and 52 penalty minutes in 61 games last season. The only other 1998-born forwards from the T-Birds’ playoff roster were Nolan Volcan and Zack Andrusiak. Bargar, who is from Torrance, Cali., has played in 180 games in his WHL career, accumulating 18 points and 125 penalty minutes.
Bishop was acquired from the Saskatoon Blades prior to last season for goaltender Logan Flodell. While his point totals were low – he had just seven in 66 games — Bishop gave Steve Konowalchuk flexibility as he could play both defense and forward, which proved extremely beneficial when the T-Birds were plagued by injuries. The move likely allows Bishop to play defense full-time with the Royals, which he has stated is his preferred position.
The T-Birds now have three 1998-born forwards, three 1999-born forwards, and three 2000-born forwards if you add Bargar to the playoff roster from last season.