Phil Tot has not played a regular-season hockey game at Toyota Center. In a few weeks, that will change.
The Tri-City Americans acquired Tot from the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Tuesday for a fifth-round WHL bantam pick in 2013 and a second-round pick in 2014. Tot will turn 19 in September.
“Just trying to make the team a little better,” Americans general manager Bob Tory said. “Anytime you can acquire a top-six forward now instead of at the trade deadline is important. We are adding a lot of depth up front.”
Tot, from Calgary, Alberta, said the trade was expected.
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“I’m excited,” Tot said. “I wanted to be on a winning team. I know a few guys on Tri-City, so this will be a good fit for me. It’s going to be weird going from Lethbridge to Tri, but it should be fun.”
A 6-foot-2, 200-pound left wing, Tot brings size and skill to the Americans, who lost top scorers Brendan Shinnimin (58 goals, 134 points) and Adam Hughesman (50 goals, 116 points) to graduation.
Tot had 14 goals and 31 assists in 61 games last season for the Hurricanes, finishing third in team scoring.
“He is a skilled player,” Tory said. “Numbers can be deceiving. When you are on a better team, you will have better numbers.
“He also killed penalties and played on the power play. He will make an immediate impact.”
Tot hopes coming to Tri-City will rejuvenate the skills that made him a first-round WHL bantam pick (18th overall) in 2008.
“I am a skilled guy, but it really hasn’t shown the last couple of years,” Tot said. “I can put the puck in the back of the net. Last year, I had a decent year on a losing team. Hopefully with Tri, I can double that.”
Tot played in the Red Lion Preseason Tournament two years ago in Kennewick, but he was injured when Lethbridge played three months later at Toyota Center.
This year, he will face his former team Oct. 5 in Kennewick. It also will be the return of former Americans goaltender Ty Rimmer, who helped lead Tri-City to a U.S. Division title last season. Rimmer was traded to Lethbridge in May, as Tory started trimming a long list of overage players.
“Lethbridge has a been a good trading partner with us over the years,” said Tory, who also traded with the Hurricanes in the past for Colton Yellow Horn, Mitch Fadden and Derek Ryckman.
“We deferred the second-round pick to 2014, so we have time to get that back. We have an extra third-round pick in 2014, so it’s not that bad.”
Note: Canada scored three power-play goals and added another while short-handed en route to a 7-5 victory against Sweden on Tuesday at the U-18 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament in Piestany, Czech Republic. Canada improved to 2-0 at the tournament after opening with a 4-1 win against Switzerland on Monday. Americans goalie Eric Comrie is on the team, but he has not seen action in the first two games. Canada plays Slovakia today.