The Seattle Thunderbirds traded left wing Payton Mount, left, and defenseman Cade McNelly to the Vancouver Giants for two draft picks. COURTESY PHOTO, Seattle Thunderbirds

The Seattle Thunderbirds traded left wing Payton Mount, left, and defenseman Cade McNelly to the Vancouver Giants for two draft picks. COURTESY PHOTO, Seattle Thunderbirds

T-Birds trade two veteran players to Vancouver for draft picks

Payton Mount, Cade McNelly heading north

The Kent-based Seattle Thunderbirds junior hockey team traded veteran players Payton Mount and Cade McNelly to the Vancouver Giants for two draft picks.

Seattle acquired a second-round pick in the 2023 Prospects Draft and a fifth-round pick in the 2024 Prospects Draft in exchange Mount, a right wing, and McNelly, a defenseman.

“We have really good forward and defensive depth heading into next season,” said general manager Bil La Forge. “We feel strongly that the picks we have acquired will help us continue to load up for what is a very exciting future.

“Payton has had a good three seasons with us and this move gives him the opportunity to play in his home province. Cade has been a valuable contributor to our team and this move will give him the opportunity to continue to play and develop.”

Mount, the T-Birds first-round pick and 19th overall in the 2017 Bantam Draft, has played 140 games and had 23 goals and 45 assists for 68 points.

McNelly has appeared in 121 games in four seasons and has six goals and 11 assists for 17 points. McNelly, from Westlock, Alberta, was an invite to T-Birds Training Camp prior to the 2016-17 season. He was added to the team’s 50-player protected list after that camp.

The T-Birds start the 2021-22 Western Hockey League regular season against the Portland Winterhawks on Saturday, Oct. 2 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.

Seattle’s home opener is at 6:05 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9, against the Winterhawks at accesso ShoWare Center.

T-Birds single game tickets for the regular season will go on sale on a date close to Labor Day online on the T-Birds website and at the accesso ShoWare Center box office, 625 W. James St.

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