MUSKEGON, MI- The Muskegon Lumberjacks and Tri-City Storm completed a high-profile trade Monday, sending forward Rhett Pitlick to Tri-City in exchange for veteran forward Nick Portz.
Portz, a 2000-birthyear from St. Cloud, Minnesota, stands 5-foot-11 and weighs 176 pounds. He is in his second USHL season after scoring 38 points (15 goals, 23 assists) in 42 games in 2019-2020.
“We are getting a team guy in every sense,” said President of Hockey Operations Steve Lowe. “Nick is someone that I acquired during my time in Tri-City and he is a tremendous person and player. He puts the locker room first and his teammates before himself. Nick will not only make an impact on the ice, but also in the community.”
Portz has suited up for 16 games this season for the Storm, scoring five goals and adding five assists. He is committed to the University of North Dakota.
Pitlick departs Muskegon after playing 45 games across two seasons for the Jacks. Pitlick started this season with 14 points in 17 games.
“We wish Rhett good fortune in Tri-City and hope to see him in the Finals,” said Lowe. “We made this decision to accommodate Rhett’s wishes and with his best interest in mind.”
Portz will not suit up for Muskegon today as the Jacks take on Team USA U18 at 4:05pm. However, Portz is expected to be in the lineup for this weekend’s series against Team USA U17 at Mercy Health Arena.
“Our goal is to develop players through competition and by building depth,” said Lowe. “If we continue to pursue this, we have a team that can reach the Clark Cup Finals. In making this move, we feel that we have a better team as a result.”