Thursday, January 5, 2017
BCHL News & Trades:
BCHL News & Trades:
Chiefs Make Several Roster Moves Before Christmas Break:
His Chilliwack Chiefs are away for Christmas, but there’s been no rest for Jason Tatarnic. The Chiefs head coach and general manager executed a flurry of roster moves late last week, starting with the acquisition of a player with major junior experience. Ben Fanjoy is a lanky centre who stands six-foot-two and weights 190 pounds. He’s spent parts of the last four seasons with the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa 67’s. In 24 games this season the forward collected five goals and nine points. But the most important thing about Fanjoy is his birth certificate. He’s 19 years old and eligible to return to the Chiefs next year as they
build for the 2018 RBC Cup. Tatarnic said Fanjoy will join the team right after the Christmas break. “He is a skilled centre who competes in every zone and doesn’t shy away from the dirty areas or battles for possession,” Tatarnic said. “With the puck, he’s an offensive threat as both playmaker and finisher.” “We are really excited to add Ben to our team as he makes us better and we feel this is an important piece for us down the stretch.” Tatarnic got another piece of good news as Anthony Vincent may be ready to return soon. The speedster was injured during an Oct. 23 game and hasn’t been seen since. The Quebec native has missed the last 18 games but he is coming off of injured reserve. Vincent collected just two goals and three assists in 17 games before his injury, but he was looking like a dangerous player with a lot of upside before he went down. As players come in players must also go out and Tatarnic made three corresponding moves. Derek Osik was released after just 15 games as a Chiefs, ending his brief tenure with four goals and five points. Josh Borynec requested a trade back to his home province of Alberta, and Tatarnic granted it, but the details of that deal won’t be released until after the Jan. 1 roster freeze is lifted. And in the most surprising departure, young defenceman Austin Chorney has been moved to Salmon Arm for future considerations. The 16 year old was a ballyhooed signing of the Chiefs in the summer but playing time was an issue for the rookie. Chorney played 25 games, collecting one goal and eight assists. “Basically Austin and his family felt this wasn’t the best spot for him this season and requested a change,” Tatarnic explained. “Austin wanted more ice time so both parties felt it would be in their best interests to move his playing rights to Salmon Arm.” The moves leave Tatarnic with one space on the roster and he plans to use it. “With the Jan. 10 trade deadline approaching we will look to see what’s available and what the best fit is for our team,” Tatarnic said. “With that being said, the best-case scenario would be adding player that will be with us this season and next season. We will look at every option there is.”
Nanaimo Closing In On New Arena?
Could the WHL have a team in Nanaimo, B.C., when the 2017-18 season begins? There are still a number of stumbling blocks, including a possible referendum on a new arena, but the return of Nanaimo to the WHL may be closer today than at any time since the Islanders completed their only season (1982-83) in the city. Kendall Hanson of CHEK-TV on Vancouver Island reported Monday that city staff has asked city council for direction on entering “into negotiations with the Western Hockey League and (a) WHL team leading to a memorandum of understanding in contemplation of (the) location of (a) WHL team in the city of Nanaimo beginning with the next WHL season — this even though the proposed Events Centre couldn’t be built before September of 2019.” According to Hanson, Councillor Bill Bestwick said: “What we do know is that a team is available and what we do know is that Frank Crane Arena is 45 years old and what we do know is that if we wait five or 10 or 15 more years there might not be a team available and assuredly the event centre would cost $5-, $10-, $15-, $20-million more.” While Nanaimo continues to talk about building an $86-million entertainment centre a decision whether to go ahead hasn’t been made. Discussions on exactly that were ongoing at a council meeting on Monday night. Should the city choose to proceed with the project, the next step would be to hold a referendum. Hanson reported that while organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Business Improvement Association and Port Authority are in favour, there is opposition, starting with the Protection Island Neighbourhood Association. Should the project get the go-ahead at some point in the not-too-distant future, it would mean a WHL team in Nanaimo would have to spend at least two seasons in the Frank Crane Arena, a facility that seats around 2,400 and is home to the BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers. The obvious candidate, of course, is the Kootenay Ice, a franchise that is owned by the Chynoweth family and has been for sale since 2012. This season, after 19 home dates, the Ice is averaging 1,672 fans per game based on announced attendances. That is the poorest average attendance in the 22-team WHL. It also is a decrease of 285 from last season. You have to wonder if the franchise might be better off drawing 2,400 fans in Nanaimo — assuming, that is, that it would be able to attract that many fans — than watching its fan base disappear in Cranbrook. Jeff Chynoweth, the Ice’s governor, president and general manager, told Taking Note last night that he has “not spoken to anyone from Nanaimo.” “But,” he added, “with everyone knowing our franchise is for sale, I am sure we will get lumped (in with) any potential new city or building.”
Penticton Vees head coach Fred Harbinson gets a break from the weekly segment this week, with director of player development and corporate sales David Michaud taking the spot. Fans who are looking to get tickets for the Western Canada Cup have until Dec. 31 before early bird prices run up – that's at $149. In the new year, those prices will go up to $179. Michaud says even that price is hitting below previous years, with Fort McMurray's tickets going for $275 and Estevan's tickets at $250. With the Cup coming up, Michaud also talks about the preparations staff are working on the make sure the event goes smoothly. Michaud also talks the excitement for the team to have two former Vees representing Canada in the World Juniors starting this weekend.
Farkas Leaves Warriors For Western Hockey League:
The Portland Winterhawks have traded goaltender Michael Bullion to the Medicine Hat Tigers in exchange for a seventh-round selection in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft. The Hawks have also signed goaltender Shane Farkas and forward Reece Newkirk. Farkas will join the Winterhawks roster immediately, while Newkirk will remain in Midget Hockey in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Shane Farkas, a 17-year-old goaltender from Penticton, British Columbia, was originally a fourth round selection in the 2014 WHL Bantam draft by the Lethbridge Hurricanes. The Winterhawks acquired Farkas’ rights in a trade with Lethbridge this fall. He has been playing this season for the West Kelowna Warriors of the BCHL, where in 22 games this season, Farkas has compiled a 12-7-0 record, including one shutout. He is currently the reigning player of the week in the BCHL, having stopped 76 of 78 shots in his final two appearances before the Christmas break. “We’re excited about the signing of Shane Farkas, a goaltender we targeted back in the fall,” said Winterhawks’ Head Coach, General Manager, and Vice President Mike Johnston. “He’s had a terrific first half of the season, highlighted by his selection as player of the week before Christmas, and we’re looking forward to bringing him to Portland and having him give us a young option in the net. With Farkas joining our team, we’ve moved Michael Bullion to Medicine Hat. This will give Michael an opportunity with a very good organization, and a team that has a chance to make a run in the East.” Reece Newkirk, a 15 year-old forward from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, was the Winterhawks’ third round selection in last spring’s WHL Bantam Draft. He racked up 53 points in 37 games playing for the Notre Dame Hounds Bantam AAA team last season. Newkirk attended the Winterhawks’ training camp, and is currently leading his team in scoring with 24 points in 29 games for the Moose Jaw Generals. “Reece Newkirk is a player with the skillset and hockey intelligence to fit perfectly into our system,” said Johnston. “With his signing, alongside previous signings Jaydon Dureau, Connor Bowie, and Evan Fradette, we feel we’re building an exciting core of 2001-born players.”
Buono Returns To Kings:
At the end of the 2014/2015 season, Buono earned a scholarship to the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (UMASS) where he played 20 games and earned himself one assist as a freshman last season. “It was a good experience, made some good friendships and learned what it takes to be a Division 1 student/athlete, but in the end I decided to part ways with UMASS because I just don’t think it was the right fit for me” says Buono of the collegiate experience. “I’m excited to come back to Powell River, play out my eligibility at the Junior level for the Kings and work my way back to the NCAA.” “We are eager to have Carmine back to the lineup. He will be a much welcomed addition and will bring a strong presence both from a physical aspect and will help steady our defensive core both defensively and on the offence side, which is what he did a couple of seasons ago” says Kings Head Coach and GM Kent Lewis. “He knows what he’s coming into, he knows the team, he knows the league, and he’s going to help us have the chance to win every night.” “I’m excited for the chance to play. I’ve been keeping tabs on the team through guys like McCarrick and Evans, it’s great coming back to Powell River, the town, the billets, and playing hockey for the Kings organization again.”
The Penticton Vees Jr. A Hockey Club has acquired the CJHL playing rights to 1996-born forward Taylor Sanheim from the Portage Terriers, in exchange for 1998-born forward Ty Barnstable, the team announced Monday. “Taylor is a hard-nosed, physical player, who brings plenty of experience with him and we feel those elements will help solidify our forward group as we gear up for what hopefully will be a long playoff run,” commented President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson. Sanheim, 20, spent parts of the last three seasons in the Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Calgary Hitmen, compiling 12 goals and 51 points in 132 career regular season games, to go along with 168 penalty-minutes. He also played in another 22 playoff games with the Hitmen, and helped them to a WHL Final appearance in 2015. In 18 games with Calgary this season, the Elkhorn, Manitoba, product had a pair of goals and seven points to go along with 34 penalty-minutes. Before landing in the WHL, Sanheim played in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, splitting his time between Portage and the Dauphin Kings. In 53 games he had 15 goals and 28 points in the 2013-14 season. To make room for Sanheim on the roster, the Vees put 20-year-old defenceman Gabe Bast on a Junior B card, as he will affiliate with the Surrey Knights of the Pacific International Junior Hockey League. Bast has been limited to just six games this season due to upper and lower-body injuries. Harbinson says trading a player of Barnstable’s quality wasn’t easy, “Ty had done everything we asked of him and he was a very popular teammate during his time here, and that speaks to his character and maturity. He’s going to an excellent program in Portage and we wish him all the best with the Terriers.” In 34 games with the Vees Barnstable had four goals and nine points, to go along with 10 penalty-minutes. The Regina, Saskatchewan, native played with his hometown Pat Canadians in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League (SMAAAHL) last season. In 43 games, Barnstable had 22 goals and 53 points and was named the SMAAAHL MVP and Top Forward.
Allbee Joins Spruce Kings:
The Prince George Spruce Kings would like to announce the addition of 19 year old defenseman, and Prince George native, Bryan Allbee to the team. Allbee joins the Spruce Kings from the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League (WHL). This season with Seattle, the 6’0” 185 pound Allbee had 3 assists in 33 games played. In 146 career WHL games split between Seattle and the Kootenay Ice he has 11 goals and 17 assist for 28 points. Prior to his three seasons in the WHL, Allbee played two seasons of Major Midget hockey for the Cariboo Cougars. In 2013-2014 he collected 16 goals and 21 assists for 37 points in 39 games for the Prince George based team. “Bryan is a very good player who skates well, sees the ice well and possesses the skills to be a dynamic player in our league. He’s a proud Prince George kid who comes from a great family with strong character. He is also a veteran player of almost 150 WHL regular season games. Anytime you get a chance to add a player like that to your lineup you jump at it. I know Bryan is excited to come back home to play and we are excited to have him” said Spruce Kings General Manager Mike Hawes.
Powell River-Georgetown Trade:
The Powell River Kings have acquired the CJHL playing rights to Matthew Cairns(98)(D) from the Georgetown Raiders of the OJHL in exchange for future considerations.
The Penticton Vees have a chance to get back into first place, just before the New Year. If the Vees' win at home against the Merritt Centennials on Friday, and the Wenatchee Wild lose at home against the Chilliwack Chiefs that same night, the Vees will be back at the top spot. Though, that may not come so easy, with the Wild winning every home game so far, this year. Still, Vees head coach Fred Harbinson says the Christmas break was just what the team needed to get back into a winning lineup. "Sometimes when the break comes, you're like, yeah, you want to keep going," Harbinson said in this week's edition of Vees' View with Coach Harbinson. "For us it was ... perfect timing; we had some injuries, so it gained us a week on those injuries." Looking forward, the Vees have historically tended to excel after Christmas, which could help the team move forward into the playoffs – but the Vees aren't the only team looking to up their game. "You're getting into that stretch drive, and teams ramping up, getting ready for what's going to be an exciting finish," Harbinson said. "It's up for grabs, it's going to be exciting, and there's some great hockey ahead." On top of the current season, two former Vees are representing Canada on the national level, which Harbinson says is not just good for the team, but for the league itself. "These guys are showing right now ... that even though they played in Junior 'A' or played in college, that they're just as effective as the guys next to them to bring the gold back to Canada."