Lloydminster Bobcats General Manager and Head Coach Travis Clayton announced today that the team has traded '96 forward, Brett Smythe to Spruce Grove in exchange for '98 goaltender, Austin McGrath and future considerations.
“This isn’t a deal we were avidly looking to make. Brett expressed he wanted to play for an Edmonton area team and after a few weeks we were able to find the right deal to immediately help our team.” said Clayton. “When Austin was offered up by Spruce Grove we knew we had to make the deal, he is a huge addition to this club.”
Many will remember McGrath as the netminder who backstopped the Lloydminster Midget AAA Bobcats into the Telus Cup in 2015-16. Last season he posted a stellar 1.81 GAA and a .925 save percentage. McGrath had the lowest GAA in Alberta AAA midget hockey last season and fifth lowest GAA in league history.
“I’ve coached Austin for two years now; he is a character kid and proven winner. I know he is going to be a good goaltender in this league,” said Clayton.
At 6’1’’, 170 lbs, McGrath is best known for his size and technique. He got his first glimpse into junior hockey last season when he suited up for the Sherwood Park Crusaders. In three games with the Crusaders he was 2-1 with a 3.02 GAA.
McGrath is a native of Lloydminster and the fifth member from last year's midget AAA squad to be joining the Junior ‘A’ Bobcats. Tre Doyon, Kobe Walker, Jaxan Kaluski and Tristan Petrie are the others.
“Growing up in Lloydminster, you watch the players come through the city and develop and move to higher levels of hockey,” said McGrath. “Being one of those players now is a great opportunity to grow and hopefully one day move to a higher level myself.”
Leaving the Bobcats is forward Brett Smythe who was acquired via Drayton Valley in 2015-16. Smythe had 21 points in 24 games while in Lloydminster.
**Bobcats Home-Opener is September 17th, make sure you pick up your season tickets today**