EDMONTON - Like most of the Edmonton Oilers fans in the city, Colin Fraser was paying close attention to the Ryan Smyth saga at the NHL Entry Draft.
Little did the Oilers forward know that he would eventually become part of it.
On Sunday, Fraser was traded to the Los Angeles Kings along with a seventh-round draft pick for Smyth.
Originally the deal was said to involve Gilbert Brule and a fourth-round draft pick.
“It took me by surprise,” said Fraser. “When it did happen at the draft I figured the deal was off. I was surprised when (Oilers GM) Steve Tambellini called me and told me I had been traded for Smyth.”
“Colin Fraser was a tough one,” said Tambellini. “The reason we acquired him was because of character. He’s always had the reputation of being a great teammate. He missed part of the year with a broken foot, because he was sacrificing for his teammates and blocked a shot.
“Unfortunately, in order to make a deal, sometimes you have to give something up. I appreciate Colin as much as a person, as I do as a hockey player.”
Fraser, 26, was originally selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the third round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
He was acquired by the Oilers in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks and went on to score three goals and added a pair of assists in 67 games.
The Kings will be Fraser’s fourth NHL organization.
“I was looking forward to coming back to Edmonton, because I felt I didn’t have a great season last year and wanted to have a better year,” Fraser said. “But I’m looking at this as a fresh start and hopefully things go well for me in Los Angeles.”