Cedar Rapids RoughRiders vs. Cole Burtch

CEDAR RAPIDS – There have been some great stories over the years about the sports traded and how that trading has gone down. It’s in baseball, football, basketball, hockey, etc.

Cole burtch the story is right up there in that kind of kind of heck.

The 20-year-old forward from Markham, Ont., Was acquired last week by the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders with the defender Cole Teleki of Youngstown Ghosts in a United States Hockey League case that sent the defender TJ Schweighardt is.

Just a simple thing, right? Not exactly.

It was before Nate hanley RoughRiders who notified Burtch he was moving. The two played together last season at Youngstown and apparently Hanley had been briefed on what had happened by the RoughRiders coach / general manager / chairman. Mark Carlson.

“It was weird,” Burtch said. “We were at Buffalo Wild Wings as a team, and Hanley texted me and said ‘Welcome to CR’, I was like ‘What?’ My coaches were right next to me, a foot away from me. I’ve known Hanley for a long time, I know he’s a joker and likes to mess around… “

So Burtch didn’t believe him right away. But it was 100% true.

Carlson is involved in all of his club’s hockey operations, but Youngstown has a president of hockey operations (former longtime NHL player Keith Primeau) and two co-GMs / VP operations of hockey. Her head coach, Brad Patterson, is “just” her head coach.

Therefore, he wasn’t aware of the exchange until Hanley told him, Burtch, and everyone else at that team dinner. And that ?

“The coaches didn’t even know the trade. It was the new GM over there that did it, ”said Burtch. “They told me they just had no idea. So that was a little unexpected for me, I guess you could say, right? “

The RoughRiders have given up on an experienced USHL defenseman but have picked up a 19-year-old defenseman from Teleki, who is not expected to leave for Providence College until 2022-23. Burtch is a West Michigan entry that brings goals to a team that lacked some early in the season.

Cedar Rapids appeared in two weekend home games at ImOn Ice Arena against, ironically, Youngstown with a 1-4 record, after scoring a league record nine times. Burtch had two goals and one assist last weekend in CR’s lone game, a 6-4 loss to Des Moines, and was named USHL forward of the week.

On Friday night, he scored one goal in regulation and the game-winning goal in a shootout in a 3-2 victory. The teams played again on Saturday night.

“Last year I would say I had a pretty good year,” Burtch said. “Obviously, I would like to say that I am a two-way player. But I bring offense, it’s kind of my game. Talking to Coach Carlson, he was hoping I would bring offense here, and that’s my goal. I can’t wait to bring those offensive (traits) to the team.

Burtch scored 20 goals and 38 points last season for Youngstown in 48 games. In 2019-2020, he scored 26 goals and 62 points in 54 games with the Toronto Lakeshore Patriots of the Ontario Junior Hockey League.

The majority of children in Canada have plans to play Major Junior Hockey in their country, be it the Ontario Hockey League, the Western Hockey League or the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, but this never happened for Burtch. He’s okay with that, okay with going to college as a latecomer.

“I never really had the NCAA road in mind,” he said. “But I haven’t had a chance to make it to the OHL, so as you get older and get to the next level, options open up. The NCAA is an amazing road to go… Once I was sidelined by the OHL, I figured I would pick up my game and try to get that NCAA commitment.

“I’m obviously a smaller kid (5 feet 10 inches, 158 pounds). In my minor midget year, my OHL draft year, I was pretty short, I didn’t have a lot of looks, a lot of playing time because there were a lot of talented hockey players. Once I hit the junior level I would say I found my stride and sort of found the offense I needed to keep going.

Comments: (319) -398-8258, jeff.johnson@thegazette.com


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