Days ahead of the WHL’s January 10th trade deadline, the Lethbridge Hurricanes made a move by sending Jay Merkley to the Swift Current Broncos in exchange for Josh Derko and a 3rd round pick in 2014.
Derko admits the trade caught him off guard “in all honesty I was surprised by the trade, I’ve been really happy in Swift Current, they’ve been really good to me and I didn’t think it would ever happen but now that it has, I’m happy to have a new start in Lethbridge and I’m looking forward to it.”
The 19-year old from Sherwood Park, AB was drafted by Swift Current in the 5th round (100th overall) in the 2008 Bantam Draft. In 31 games this season he has 11 points (3G, 8A), he’s a -4 plus/minus rating and has 68 PIM’s and he’s ready to jump in and help the team. “I feel like I’m a team guy, not afraid to fight when the team needs it, just hard working physical player, I’ve got a good shot, but mostly just a big physical guy.” At 6’2 and 196 lbs., Head Coach and GM Rich Preston likes what Derko brings to the team “he’s a a big strong, aggressive forward who is a great teammate, a leader and one of the Captains on the Broncos.’
In adding Derko’s size and physicality to the lineup the Hurricanes parted ways with their highly touted 2010 1st round (3rd overall) Bantam pick Jay Merkley. In his two seasons with the Hurricanes the Calgary, AB native had 45 points (26G, 19A) in 102 games.