The Trail Smoke Eaters added a veteran presence to its crease on Tuesday.
Trail announced that they acquired 20-year-old goaltender Evan Fradette from the Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) in exchange for forward Justin Ross and future considerations.
The St. Albert native will join the Smoke Eaters for the 2021-22 season. Fradette played two games in the Western Hockey League with the Medicine Hat Tigers, but has spent most of his junior career with the Oil Barons.
At six-foot-three, 205 pounds, Fradette will be a large body in the Trail crease with big expectations.
Last year Evan went 7-0-2 in a shortened season posting a .916 save percentage and 2.31 goals against average, which backstopped the Oil Barons to a first place finish in the AJHL North division.
“It’s important to have depth at all positions and by adding Evan he will definitely bring that to our goalie position along with his experiences at the junior level,” said Smoke Eaters GM and head coach Tim Fragle. “He is coming off two strong seasons with Fort McMurray and we are confident this trend will continue here with the Smoke Eaters.”
Prior to his jump to junior A hockey, Fradette made a statement in the Alberta Midget Hockey League, where in 2017-18 he led the league with the best save percentage, an impressive 0.925.
He followed that up with a playoff MVP award in 2018-19 as well as the MVP award at the prestigious Macs Tournament, standing out amongst some of the best midget players across the country to earn the award.
In exchange, the Smoke Eaters sent 20-year-old forward Ross to Fort McMurray. Ross played 15 games for Trail last season scoring a goal and four assists in the Penticton pod. A native of Calgary, he is familiar with the AJHL playing the 2019-20 season for the Brooks Bandits.