Roddy Ross’ hometown fans from Saskatchewan’s Northwest couldn’t be happier.

Ross, 20, of Canoe Lake Cree First Nation and, until recently, a goalie with the Western Hockey League’s Seattle Thunderbirds has been acquired by the WHL’s Regina Pats. At the conclusion of the 2019-20 season he was selected Seattle’s most valuable player. The Philadelphia Flyers prospect, along with an eighth-round draft pick, was traded to the Pats last Wednesday (April 22) in exchange for a second-round pick in 2020, a fourth-round pick in 2022 and a conditional second-round pick in 2024.

“It was kind of surprising and quite shocking to be traded,” Ross told Northern Pride less than 24 hours after news of his trade broke. “But, obviously, that’s just the way it goes with hockey. Anything can happen and where your career takes you is not always in your hands.”

Ross was drafted in the sixth round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft by the Flyers. He played in 49 games in 2019-20 with Seattle, going 20-21-4-3 with a 3.17 goals against average and a .908 save percentage.

“We are really excited to add Roddy to our club,” noted John Paddock, the Pats’ vice-president of hockey operations and general manager in a news release. “He is a high-end goaltender with good experience in the league, he will help our team this coming season.”

Ross played in 74 WHL career games, posting a record of 36-26-5-5, 3.03 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage.

“I am really excited to join the Regina Pats organization,” Ross added. “It’s closer to home and will be a lot easier for my family and for my friends to come see me play.”

This was echoed by Ross’ father.

“It’s awesome,” Marty Ross said with regard to the trade. “Regina is a rebuilding team just like the team he just came from, so nothing new there. But, it will be awesome to watch a ton of games this winter… so many of his cousins, grandparents and family members just couldn’t get to Seattle, so this is huge for our family.”

Meanwhile, in a recent report, Thunderbirds GM Bil La Forge said it’s sad to see Ross leave.

“Roddy was a great Thunderbird,” La Forge remarked. “We appreciated everything he did for us, but it’s time to go with the guys who match our windows. To be able to move Roddy and acquire a goalie for the future was something that was exciting for us… it was something we felt we had to jump on. It just made too much sense for us… We were able to get Roddy closer to home and to a good spot for him.”

As for Ross, he said he will miss Seattle.

“I have nothing but good things to say about that team,” he said. “I will miss my teammates and the atmosphere of playing in that barn. I’m still excited to play for Regina, but I will miss the Seattle fan base and the support they always showed for us. At the same time, I can’t wait to start with Regina, to meet the team and to, hopefully, make it all the way to a playoff run with them next year as well.”

by Phil Ambroziak