Tri-City Storm acquire Buffalo Sabres draft pick Jake Richard, Muskegon roster shake-up continues
Tri-City bolsters lineup by adding Muskegon's leading scorer and Sabres' sixth-round pick Jake Richard
KEARNEY, Neb. — The Tri-City Storm bolstered their roster this week by acquiring forward Jake Richard in a trade with Muskegon.
Richard led Muskegon with 18 goals and 35 points in 30 games this season. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound forward was the Buffalo Sabres sixth-round pick (170th overall) last summer and is currently tied for ninth in the USHL in goals.
"Jake Richard is one of the premier forwards in the USHL,” said Tri-City head coach and president of hockey operations Antony Noreen. “With the recent upgrades to our personnel, as well as the continued growth of our forward group, we felt we owed it to this team to give them the best possible chance down the stretch.
“Jake is a proven scorer in our league, and should add a major boost to our lineup.”
Richard skated in 86 career games with Muskegon over the past two years and gives Tri-City an experienced and potent threat on the wing. The Connecticut commit has five points (2-3-5) over his last four games and has already tied his goal total from 56 games last season.
The deal is the third of the week and arguably the biggest trade for Muskegon. The Lumberjacks also sent Owen Mehlenbacher and Tyler Dunbar to Fargo and Lincoln respectively.
"All three have been marquee players for us and we wish them the best in the future. I'm sure many people are shocked by the recent transactions and we are grateful for the appreciation, care and love for the Muskegon Lumberjacks," said President of Hockey Operations, Steve Lowe.
Richard and a 2023 Phase I 10th-round pick will head to Tri-City while Muskegon receives a 2023 Phase II second-round pick, a 2023 Phase I third-round pick and future considerations in the deal.
TRADE: Storm acquires forward Jake Richard #StormAhead https://t.co/v3Xej2Q4IL— Tri-City Storm (@TriCityStorm) February 2, 2023
Richard will make his Tri-City debut Friday night as the Storm play a pair of games in Omaha this weekend.
Tri-City (16-14-1-3) is currently fifth in the Western Conference with 36 points, just three behind Sioux City. The Storm have points in seven of their last 10 (5-3-1-1) and have also won four straight and six of seven overall against Omaha this season.
They’re hoping Richard can keep that going and help the Storm continue climbing the standings.
"First off, a quick thank you to the Muskegon Lumberjacks for negotiating and working with us on this trade,” Tri-City general manager Jason Koehler said in a statement. “With this transaction, we feel Jake Richard helps upgrade and impact our forward group after proving to be an extremely productive, successful, scoring line winger and offensive weapon in our league the last season and a half in the USHL's Eastern Conference.
“We feel with the center options we have, and who he can play with moving forward, we are getting a proven goal scorer and impact forward for our club the second half and leading into the playoffs. We have been very happy with the improvement of our team the last few weeks and development of our new and first year players, and feel this gives our team a boost in a needed area. We welcome Jake to Kearney, and we are excited to see him debut this weekend with the team."