After a couple seasons including deep playoff runs with the Saskatoon Blades, it's back to BC for Rosetown's Vaughn Watterodt.

Now entering his overage season in the WHL, the Blades shipped Watterodt to the Victoria Royals back on June 6 in exchange for 19-year-old forward Ben Riche. Originally drafted by the Kamloops Blazers back in 2019, Watterodt was traded to Saskatoon in December 2021 after only 18 games in a Blazers uniform, becoming a staple in the Blades lineup the last 3 seasons.

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When the news broke that the west-central forward was being traded to Victoria in exchange for Ben Riche, Watterodt was actually 7000 km away from home on a vacation in Germany. Now back home and ready to reflect, the WHL veteran talked about his time in Saskatoon.

"Obviously I was sad that it's over in Saskatoon. I loved being a Blade, and I didn't take it for granted at all I don't think." said Watterodt, going back to his final memory as a Blade, an exhilarating game-tying goal in Game 7 against the Moose Jaw Warriors; that was all-for-not as the Blades season ended shortly after in the extra frame.

Surely Watterodt wishes things would have ended a little differently during what ended up being his final game as a Blade. Instead of dwelling on what could have been, the high-energy player is looking forward to competing for the same goal of a championship out on Vancouver Island.

"I am super excited to go to Victoria. Such an up-and-coming team, it's a great organization." said Watterodt mentioning head coach of the Royals James Patrick, and GM Jake Heisinger. "I am really excited to be able to get a new perspective, and learn a lot from those guys."

Soaking in the trade while in Germany as already mentioned, Watterodt says the Royals front office was quick to say 'Guten Tag'.

"(Patrick and Heisinger) both talked to me that day I got traded. Just welcoming me to the team, and how excited they were that I am coming there." shared Watterodt, reciprocating the feeling. "Such a great organization, and great place to play and live. I'm excited."

Sticking around Saskatchewan during the summer, next up for Watterodt will be meeting the rest of the team. He's already been in contact with one player, Royals stud sophomore, and a west-central connection in Macklin's Cole Reschny. 

"He's unreal. Having almost a point-per-game as a 16-year-old in this league is really hard to do." remarked Watterodt. "He is a special player. I have been talking to him a bit, and we are really excited to get things going in Victoria."

It wasn't that long ago Watterodt was a young player playing out the start of his WHL career. Now a veteran in the league, Watterodt is hoping to bring the tremendous leadership he had in Saskatoon to the BC capital.

"I learned from some great leaders in Saskatoon, and I am just trying to do whatever I can to help grow with this team, and give my experience being deep in the playoffs the last two years... Try to help out wherever I can with the leadership opportunity."

Watterodt has 76 points (32 goals and 44 assists) across 191 career WHL games, the feisty forward also adding 198 PIMs over the years. In the postseason, Watterodt has 18 points (7 goals and 11 assists) in 39 career playoff games.

The Rosetown native can do a little bit of everything, and will look to provide his usual presence out west for the 2024-25 season.