At the November roster deadline, one of most sought-after players in the SJHL was Ryler Morgan. Originally from St. Albert, Alberta, he was with the La Ronge Ice Wolves, where he had put up 58 points in 64 games over the past two seasons, including 24 points in the first 22 games of the current campaign.
The Richardson Pioneer Weyburn Red Wings got word that La Ronge head coach and general manager Kevin Kaminski was looking to move Morgan, and Weyburn bench boss Cody Mapes reached out to get a deal done.
“There’s some workings that go into it in the back, but we were lucky to be able to find out that he was potentially available and we had to give up a lot on our end,” Mapes explained. “I think it was a good deal for both teams. Right now, it really helps us and I think it could pay big dividends for La Ronge too.”
The Red Wings would give up a fair bit for Morgan: the playing rights to Carter Brilitz and Luke Bateman, the 3rd and 4th round picks in this year’s draft, a 6th round pick in next year’s draft, and a player development fee.
The payoff from the trade had immediate impacts for the Red Wings.
The 5’9” forward from Alberta picked up two assists in his first game with the Red Wings, which happened to be against his former team. While the game was a 5-3 loss for the Wings, it did spark what has turned into a dynamic duo. Both of the assists were on goals potted by Weyburn native Ty Mason.
“We just instantly had chemistry, and been able to find him, and he’s been able to find me and things have been working and we’ve been clicking really well,” Morgan said. “I don’t know how we developed that chemistry instantly but its been working right off the bat.”
“I think it's his vision,” Mason added. “He sees the ice well and he opens up the ice because he’s shifty and stuff. He finds me lots, and I find ways to put it in the back of the net.”
Morgan and Mason have clicked since the first game on December 2nd. In the span of six games, the pair have combined for 17 points in total.
Morgan has scored four goals, including a hat trick against the Kindersley Klippers on December 9th, with Mason getting assists on two of those goals. Mason also has four goals in that span, with Morgan credited with an assist on all four.
The chemistry of the pair has been noticed by the others on the team as well, including Red Wings captain Matthew Reidy. He summed up the dynamic duo.
“You’ve got a shooter and you’ve got a passer, so it’s gonna work,” Reidy stated. “Ryley’s always looking for someone to be open and Ty’s always looking to get open and get his shot. It’s peanut butter and jelly.”
The Red Wings will be back in action Friday night when they travel to Estevan to take on the Bruins. The two teams will then meet back in Weyburn Saturday night at Crescent Point Place.