March 21, 2011

Esks and ‘Cats trade picks and players; Edmonton signs free agent kicker Sakoda

Edmonton Eskimos Staff

March 21, 2011

(Edmonton)   The Edmonton Eskimos have acquired the 2nd round selection (13th overall) in the 2011 CFL Canadian Draft and the negotiation list rights to non-import defensive back Dalin Tollestrup (Brigham Young  University) from Hamilton in exchange for import kicker Justin Medlock, import defensive back Carlos Thomas, Edmonton’s 3rd round  (18th overall) and 5th round (34th overall) selections in this year’s draft.       

Edmonton Eskimo General Manager Eric Tillman says, “It’s never easy trading an elite player like Justin Medlock, but by adding Louie Sakoda, we felt justified in making this deal and moving up five valuable spots in the upcoming CFL draft.  Combine that with gaining the future rights to Alberta native Dalin Tollestrup for a fifth rounder and Carlos Thomas and we feel our club has taken more important steps in upgrading our Canadian nucleus. We’ll have to wait on Dalin a couple of years, but believe he’ll be well worth it.” 
The Eskimos also announced the signing of free agent kicker Louie Sakoda.  In 2009 the former Utah standout joined Saskatchewan late in the season and handled punting and kickoff duties in the final two regular season games, CFL West Final and Grey Cup.  Sakoda was released by the ‘Riders August 2, 2010 and signed with Winnipeg August 10th. He suffered an injury and did not see game action. Sakoda was released September 22 by Winnipeg.   

Sakoda played for the Riders in parts of 2009 and 2010.

On the signing of Sakoda, Tillman says, “When Louie is healthy, as he is now,  his performances have been at the difference making level.  We saw that in 2009 and throughout his four year career at Utah.  Combined with Derek Schiavone and Chris Bodnar, we will go to camp with great flexibility in our kicking game.”
Sakoda is just the second player in NCAA history to be a finalist for both the Lou Groza and Ray Guy Awards, which goes to the top kicker and punter in US college football respectively.