June 18th, 2024

Tigers trade hometown overager White to Ice

By Sean Rooney on August 15, 2018.

NEWS FILE PHOTO
Medicine Hat Tigers centre Jaeger White chips the puck out of his own zone while Kootenay Ice centre Cole Muir pressures during a Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018 Western Hockey League game at Canalta Centre. White was traded to the Ice Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018.


srooney@medicinehatnews.com
@MHNRooney

It was a dream come true for Jaeger White to play for his hometown team, but the numbers simply didn’t add up for him to finish his WHL career with the Medicine Hat Tigers.

The 20-year-old forward was traded to the Kootenay Ice Tuesday for a conditional draft pick, after spending one season as a Tiger.

“I completely understand the move,” said White, the stepson of Tigers general manager and head coach Shaun Clouston. “I was ready to come in to camp and battle for a spot but to be able to go to a team where I have an opportunity to play with more of a younger team, maybe more opportunity is something I’m looking forward to.”

Drafted by Lethbridge in 2013, White played in two seasons for the Hurricanes before being traded to Everett, then Brandon where he suffered a dislocated collarbone and missed a year of action.

When he was finally healthy enough to return it was Clouston who opened the door, and White put up respectable numbers (10 goals, 24 assists in 68 regular season games).

“He came a long way this season,” said Clouston. “The early part of his Western Hockey League career didn’t go as expected, I think that’s the challenge for lots of young players. At 17 he had a fairly horrific injury which kept him out of the game for an entire year. To give it a try again, really go after it and be rewarded with another opportunity was fantastic.

“He put up good numbers for us, his defensive game improved, his puck management improved. He really became and all-around player.”

With a half-dozen other overagers on the roster and the team only able to keep three of them, however, a move seemed inevitable.

“We don’t know exactly who will be back but we’ve got a lot of guys who have spent a lot of years here,” said Clouston. “I think this is a much better situation for Jaeger to play in the league for another year.”

White noted alternate captain Ryan Jevne is among that group. Defencemen Dylan MacPherson, Dalton Gally and Linus Nassen, plus NHL-signed players David Quenneville (New York Islanders) and Mason Shaw (Minnesota Wild) are the others.

For White, there will be plenty of great memories to look back on.

“I think when you’re playing for your hometown, there’s that little bit of extra pride in wearing the jersey,” he said. “It was really special to win a banner, that’s something I’ll always remember.

“Playing in my first playoff game, my first game as a Tiger, first goal, all things I dreamed of growing up.”

The hope now is that he can finish his WHL career as a leader in Cranbrook, then maybe parlay that into a pro contract or spot on a post-secondary team.

“I think a lot of guys, their goal is to keep playing whether that’s (uSports), pro, whatever. When you’re 20, you want to get a contract — set yourself up for schools talking to you, maybe teams in Europe. It’s a big year because it sets yourself up for lots of opportunities.”

Training camps for both the Tigers and Ice start in a week’s time, with Clouston noting the Tigers’ first ice times are on Aug. 24.

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