During the WHL Bantam Draft on Thursday afternoon, the Moose Jaw Warriors made a move to improve their team heading into next season by adding a 40-goal forward. The tribe acquired forward Todd Fiddler from the Spokane Chiefs in exchange for a third round pick in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft.
“We wanted to add someone that could play in our top-six whether that’s with a Fioretti or Point down the middle,” said Warriors general manager Alan Millar. “We feel we’ve added a real solid player. He’s got deceptive speed, he plays the game hard and 42 goals last year tells you all you need to know.”
The 2012 season was a break out year for Fiddler as he scored 42 goals with the Chiefs and was third in team scoring with 77 points.
“Obviously the year he’s had under Don Nachbaur (Chiefs head coach), he’s really figured it out and played well,” said Millar.
“I had a lot of good guys up in Spokane and had a lot of help from the coaches,” added Fiddler, who hails from Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan. “I shot the puck a lot more and confidence was coming with it.”
Fiddler was originally drafted by Medicine Hat in the third round of the 2008 Bantam Draft. He has played in 214 career regular season games with Medicine Hat, Prince Albert and Spokane, scoring 77 goals and picking up 143 points, while also collecting 81 penalty minutes. He’s appeared in 26 playoffs games.
He says he was surprised by the trade, but excited about the opportunity, “Didn’t really expect it that’s for sure, but I’m happy about it… I had a good season last year and I hope I can match that, I scored a lot of goals and did a lot of offensive stuff and that’s what I want to do again.”
Having played in the East Division just over a season ago, Fiddler is familiar with the Warriors and the team’s style of play. “They’re a quick paced team and they’re physical and I’m pretty excited to be a part of that,” he said.
Giving up just a third round pick for a 20-year-old forward that scored over 40 goals last season was seen as a steal by many, but Millar said they benefited from Fiddler being the odd-man out in Spokane.
“Spokane had four very good 20-year-olds in terms of Eric Williams, the goaltender, and then two kids that have grown up in their organization,” said Millar. “We felt that it was a fair deal and it was good for both sides, so we were pleased to get it done.”
The Warriors are still expected to add another 20-year-old before, or during, training camp. Millar added that this move gave them more options and time to decide on if they want to use three overage forwards or look for a defenceman.
The Warriors took forward Brett Howden with the fifth overall pick of the WHL Bantam Draft on Thursday morning. Click here for more on the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.