The Steinbach Pistons have made their first trade of the off-season acquiring Brandon Funk from the Winnipeg Blues in exchange for a pair of prospects.
A 2005-born right-handed forward, Funk comes to Steinbach with 101 games of MJHL experience under his belt where it's put up 30 goals and added 31 assists for 61 points.
Coming off an 18-goal campaign with the Blues, Funk says he's looking forward to taking another big step offensively. "I would describe myself as a two-way forward. I'm not afraid to get in the corners and I do plan to bring a scoring aspect to the table. I want to build chemistry with my new teammates, I think that's going to help a lot this year. I'm pumped."
General Manager and Head Coach Paul Dyck believe's Funk is the type of player that checks a lot of boxes for a team looking to do damage in the regular season and playoffs. "We are very excited to add Brandon to our lineup," the long-time Pistons bench boss says. "He brings a lot of energy to the ice and you can count on him emptying his tank every night. For a young player, he will add significant experience to our team and has proven he can score at this level."
Having already committed to NCAA Division-1's Long Island University, Funk is looking forward to continuing his growth to become an elite player at this level and beyond. "I want to improve as a hockey player as much as possible. I think with the help of the coaching staff of Steinbach, that will for sure help a lot."
Another exciting aspect for Funk is how much the community cares about the team and how the team gives back to the community through volunteering. "I think community is a huge part of junior hockey in general. I'm so glad the community is so close and everyone knows everyone kinda thing. I want to be a big piece of that."
It will be a little different for Funk and his new teammates next year as the team will be playing out of La Broquerie instead of Steinbach. Funk says he isn't thinking about that at all. "I'm sure it'll all work out and I'm sure (La Broquerie) will be a great place to play."
Being from Winnipeg, Funk says there's a good chance the Funk family will be regulars at games which means a lot to him. "They can come to watch my hockey and it's so great to always see them in the stands."
Going the other way in the deal are the MJHL list rights to forward '06 Cole Penner and '05 defender Blake Goretzki.
Goretzki was selected in the 3rd round of the 2020 MJHL Draft while Penner was picked in the 5th round of 2022.