Whistler goalie Beck Warm is starting the new year with a new look.
The 20-year-old, who had been with the Western Hockey League's Tri-City Americans since 2016-17, was dealt to the Edmonton Oil Kings on Jan. 1. In his first start with Edmonton on Jan. 5, Warm helped the Oil Kings to a 4-3 win over the Saskatoon Blades.
"It's been a pretty wild four or five days here," Warm said on Jan. 7. "I'm settling in well and it's been a pretty easy transition.
"It was definitely a surprise. You always have in the back of your mind that maybe it's going to happen. It's your final year."
The deal puts Warm in a much stronger team situation, going from an Americans team that has won just two of its last 18 games to an Edmonton team that had posted a league-leading 61 points heading into its contest in Moose Jaw on Jan. 8.
"It was awesome to get a win in the first game there. It was a really big one, so that was super exciting. The D [defensive] corps here is pretty unbelievable, so that makes it easy on me," he said.
In his last game with the Americans, a 5-4 overtime win over Spokane on New Year's Eve, Warm won his first game since Nov. 11, which was a 3-0 blanking of Edmonton in which he made 48 saves. Tri-City's intervening struggles weren't all on Warm, though, as he made at least 30 saves in nine of those 12 consecutive defeats, with five nights of more than 40 stops and one with 52.
While Warm was thankful for his time with Tri-City, who are just two points out of a playoff spot as of Jan. 7, he's thrilled to join a contending Edmonton squad.
"We definitely had some tough games and some challenging games, so it was definitely tough, but I feel really good about my play right now and I'm really excited for this next chapter," he said. "It's definitely an honour to be traded here. I'm super grateful for the opportunity to help the team do something special."
After serving as the undisputed No. 1 goalie in Tri-City, appearing in 28 of the team's 34 games before the trade, Warm is unsure of how much ice he'll see after the trade. Edmonton already boasts rookie Sebastian Cossa, who was named the WHL Goalie of the Month for December, and with Warm, will form a formidable tandem.
"It's all dependent on my play. They brought me in to mentor Sebastian Cossa, the rookie goalie here, so I'm going to try to do my best to mentor him and show him the ropes," Warm said.
The Oil Kings are no strangers to the Warm family, as they utilized Beck's twin brother Will on their blue line before trading him to the Victoria Royals in the offseason.
Warm said talking with his brother has helped him prepare for what to expect.
"I've had a couple good chats with him just about the organization here and everything. He's had nothing but good things to say about the organization and the guys, just everything about it is pretty unbelievable," he said. "There are two other guys from Tri-City that I played with, and then just knowing some guys from Vancouver and having my brother here the past three years, it's not too tough a transition."
With his junior career wrapping up at season's end, Warm hoped to head to a team where he might have a better chance of getting noticed by a pro club, as the Oil Kings are owned by the NHL's Oilers and share an arena in Rogers Place.
At the time of the trade, Edmonton president of hockey operations and general manager Kirt Hill said in a release that the team was thrilled to bring Warm into the fold.
"Beck is an elite goalie in our League and such a quality individual both on and off the ice," Hill said in the release. "The Warm family has been a part of our organization in the past, and we are extremely proud to welcome them back."