BCHL News & Trades:
Powell River Signs Cairns:
The Powell River Kings have acquired 1998-born defenseman Matthew Cairns from the Fargo Force in the United States Hockey League. Cairns, from Mississauga, Ontario, had played 17 games for the Force this season with 4 assists. Prior to playing for the Force, Matt played for the Georgetown Raiders in the Ontario Junior Hockey League scoring nine goals and added 24 assists in 46 OJHL games last season. He improved on those totals in the playoffs, putting up 19 points in 22 postseason contests. He was named that league’s top prospect. Matt also went in round 3 #84 overall by Edmonton Oilers in the 2016 NHL Draft. “Being drafted by the Oilers was one of the most amazing moments in my hockey career,” says Cairns,
“Being selected by a Canadian team was certainly icing on the cake.” The 6’2”, 190lb defenseman who was also a part of Team East for the World Junior ‘A’ Under 19 Challenge in 2015/2016 is also another Cornell commit. Cairns is known for his quiet yet effective defensive game. He uses his size to push opposing forwards to the outside and plays an effective one on one game. “I’m happy to have Matt as part of our team” says Kings Head Coach and GM Kent Lewis. “We are gaining a great kid on and off the ice and I am looking forward to working with him. Matt will add some size and experience to the lineup which will help us greatly.” “I had always heard about what a great place Powell River was and knew it was also a great hockey town. I was recently traded to the Kings and was extremely excited to be a part of the organization and future” says Cairns, “I feel that I can add some depth to the team and hopefully help to play any role that is needed on our path to winning a championship” adds Cairns.
Chiefs To Stand Pat At BCHL Trade Deadline:
Though his team just swept three straight games against the Wenatchee Wild and moved within seven points of first place in the Mainland division, Chilliwack Chiefs general manager Jason Tatarnic says he won’t be making any moves prior to the Jan. 10 trade deadline. “I’m done, completely done and I’ve told everyone we’re not doing anything,” Tatarnic said. “You don’t have to phone the Chilliwack Chiefs during the deadline.” At 24-9-5-0, Tatarnic’s crew has the fourth highest win percentage (.697) in the league, behind Penticton (.819), Wenatchee (.789) and the Victoria Grizzlies (.743). They are clearly one of the BCHL’s top teams. Of Wenatchee’s 10 losses this season, four have come at the hands of the Chilliwack, which bodes well for the playoff showdown that everyone assumes is coming. Tatarnic may not have been tempted to beef up his roster when they were 13 points out of first. But Chilliwack’s last three games presented a solid argument to ‘go for it.’ “We think we have a shot this year, as numerous teams do, and we think we have a shot next year too,” Tatarnic said. “You could say we need one more impact forward, but maybe that’s Jake Smith who seems to have stepped up his game.” “We just did what we did against Wenatchee without Kale Kane in our lineup, so maybe you consider him an addition?” “There’s temptation to do something, but it’s at a cost.” Tatarnic made a significant move just before the Christmas break, signing center Ben Fanjoy away from the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa Gee Gees. “He was probably our big deadline move,” Tatarnic said. “And he came here with no consequence in terms of players going the other way.” “I like our team with the addition of Fanjoy. I’m comfortable with it going forward this year and our core is still going to be here for next year.” Coach T made his final move to round out the roster earlier this week, signing junior B skater Wyatt Elmer. Elmer collected four goals and 11 points in 15 outings with the Grandview Steelers of the Pacific International Junior Hockey League, Tatarnic said the 17 year old Delta native really wanted to be a Chief and played two games as an affiliate player earlier this season. “He skates well and he has skill and he can cause trouble on the forecheck,” Tatarnic said. “Once he gets comfortable with the pace of our game I think he can make an impact.” “And the big thing with him is it’s been a dream of his to be a Chilliwack Chief, so you know the motivation is there.” The Chiefs have a one-game weekend ahead, hosting the Langley Rivermen (16-14-5-2) Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Prospera Centre. Langley’s 14 points behind Chilliwack in the division, but they’ve given the Chiefs trouble in head to head matchups. The most recent meeting, on Dec. 14, saw the Rivermen skate away with a 9-4 win. “They gave it to us pretty good last time out, they play hard, they’re a good team and they’re making a push,” Tatarnic said. “They could be a playoff opponent for us, and I think from this point forward the intensity is going to be revved up a bit because there is that possibility you might see them in the first round.”
Clippers Make Roster Moves:
In the past 24 hours, the Nanaimo Clippers have made 3 roster moves adding two new players while sending a familiar face to the North American Hockey League. The first move is the acquisition of forward Ben Taylor from the Tri City Storm of the USHL. Taylor is committed to the NCAA’s Brown University, the 6’3 200lb Forward had 2 assists in 17 games for the Storm. The second move is the acquisition of Marcus Joseph from the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL. Joseph is committed to the NCAA’s Sacred Heart University, the 5’9 185lbs D man had 1 goal and 3 assists for Youngstown in 21 games. Last season Joseph played for the Carleton Place Canadians of the CCHL where he was a first team all-star and participated in the Royal Bank Cup. In 47 games with the Canadians Joseph scored 13 goals and added 27 assists totaling 40 points. In the final move of the day the Clippers have sent 20-year-old forward Will LeNeave to the Minnesota Magicians of the NAHL. The Clippers would like to wish Will the best of luck with the Magicians. We look forward to welcoming Ben and Marcus to the lineup this Friday against the Cowichan Valley Capitals.
Spruce Kings Sign Anagnostopoulos:
The Prince George Spruce Kings would like to announce the addition of 18 year old goaltender Aris Anagnostopoulos to the regular roster. Anagnostopoulos had previously been an affiliate player with the Spruce Kings this season and joins the team from the Kamloops Storm of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL). This season with Kamloops, Anagnostopoulos had 7 wins, 7 losses and 1 tie in 16 games played to go along with a 2.63 goals against average and a .916 save percentage. Anagnostopoulos replaces veteran Stefan Wornig on the roster. Wornig has been out of action since early November with muscle cramping issues and will remain out of action for the rest of this season while he deals with the medical issue. “We are excited to add a young talented goalie like Aris to our roster. It’s unfortunate that we have lost Stefan Wornig for the remainder of the season but it does open a door for a good young goalie like Aris to come in here and prove that he deserves to be in this league. Aris has attended our spring camps and main training camps for the past couple of seasons and has always done extremely well. I know he will come in here and push hard to get starts” said Spruce Kings General Manager Mike Hawes.
Salmon Arm-Cowichan Trade:
Salmon Arm Silverbacks general manager Troy Mick today announced the team has traded 96 forward Mitch Skapski & 97 forward Haydn Hopkins to the Cowichan Valley Capitals for 98 forward Trevor Ayre (Surrey, BC), Ryan Hogg (Duncan, BC) & Future considerations. This was a very good hockey trade for both clubs stated GM Troy Mick, We would like to thank Mitch & Haydn for their time in Salmon Arm and wish them the very best of luck in the future. Mitch was the captain of the Silverbacks at the time of the deal and will now get to play with his brother Marshall Skapski in Cowichan. Haydn will return to the Island and play in front of friends and family and contribute to the Capitals in a big way. With the news of the trades today Silverbacks coaching staff have now chosen Carson Bolduc of Salmon Arm as the new Captain and added Elijiah Barriga to the leadership role for the club. “Carson has been amazing for our hockey club since he has joined the Silverbacks from the WHL 3 years ago and is an amazing young man to lead this team into the 2nd half of the season” Stated head coach Misko Antisin. Elijiah Barriga in his 2nd year with the Backs has proven worthy of this honor as well on and off the ice
Eagles Sign Fuller:
The Surrey Eagles Hockey Club has announced the addition of Landon Fuller to the team’s active roster. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound defenceman played 25 games earlier this season with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and 1 game with Tri-City Americans of the WHL. He will be in the lineup for the Eagles’ next game, Thursday night at home against the Wenatchee Wild. Fuller spent the previous season with the Sicamous Eagles of the KIJHL, where he posted 2 goals, 5 assists, and 105 penalty minutes in 44 games. The 17-year-old was born in 100 Mile House, BC, and played his minor hockey growing up in Williams Lake. “Fuller is an intimidating force, but that’s not all,” head coach and general manager Blaine Neufeld said about the acquisition. “He’s also very sound defensively. He allows us to gain some depth on defence, which is important as we head into the playoffs.” Fuller is now the second Eagles defenceman that has spent part of the season with the Tri-City Americans, joining teammate and fellow defenceman Colten Gerlib once again. The BCHL trading deadline is quickly approaching, coming up on January 10th.
Signing veteran CJHL player Taylor Sanheim, of the Portage Terriers, will add some depth to the team's forward lines, according to Penticton Vees head coach Fred Harbinson. That's in a new edition of Vees' View with Coach Harbinson, where he talks signing the veteran player to round out and bring some more maturity to the team. Harbinson says the Vees are improving their powerplay game – something the team saw in its last game of 2016 against the Merritt Centennials at the SOEC. Finally, he talks about the challenges ahead, with some strong games coming this week and as the team heads toward the playoffs.
Prince George-Humboldt Trade:
The Prince George Spruce Kings would like to announce that they have traded 18 year old defenseman Trent Huitema to the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) in exchange for future considerations. The 6’7” 200 lbs Huitema is from Chilliwack, BC. Huitema was acquired on November 16th from the Surrey Eagles. In eight games with the Spruce Kings, Huitema didn’t record any points. Last year with the Surrey Eagles Huitema had 7 points to go along with 48 PIM in 46 games. The Spruce Kings would like to thank Trent for his time with the team, and wish him the best with his new team in Humboldt.
Salmon Arm-Trail Trade:
Salmon Arm Silverbacks general manager Troy Mick announced they have made two more trades before the January 10th deadline. 20-year-old Carter Cochrane has been dealt to the Trail Smoke Eaters for future considerations & 20-year-old forward Josh Blanchard has been traded to the Nanaimo Clippers for future considerations. It is never easy to trade 2 quality players like Carter & Josh but looking at the bigger picture we felt as an organization this was the right thing to do. We would like to thank Carter & Josh for everything they have done for the Silverbacks and wish them all the best with their new teams.
With the BCHL trade deadline approaching at 8 PM PT, the Surrey Eagles have been active. The team has announced the acquisition of 19-year-old defenceman Domenic Masellis from the Coquitlam Express in exchange for future considerations. For Masellis, his BCHL career has come full circle. The Burnaby, BC native began his career with the Eagles in 2013-14, appearing in 53 games that season. Since that time, he has played for the Langley Rivermen, Penticton Vees, and began the 2016-17 season with the Express – playing in 16 games. During his stint with the Express, he posted 1 goal and 3 assists, alongside 20 penalty minutes. At 6-foot-3, 225 lbs, head coach and general manager Blaine Neufeld loves Masellis’ size, but also his leadership capabilities. “Dom is a guy that can immediately step into our lineup and command respect. He’s a veteran in this league, and leads by example with his physicality. I’m very happy we were able to acquire him at the deadline and bring him back to Surrey. We hope he will inject some energy into our lineup.” Masellis is a veteran of over 160 BCHL regular season games played, including an additional 20 playoff games. To make room for Masellis, the Eagles traded defenceman Tyler Cooper to the Hawkesbury Hawks of the CCHL. The Sudbury native appeared in 61 games with the Eagles over the last two seasons, and will get to return to the province of Ontario with Hawkesbury. The entire Eagles organization thanks him for his dedication during his time with the team, and wishes him the best of luck with Hawkesbury!
Victoria Grizzlies Sign O'Malley:
The Victoria Grizzlies would like to announce we have acquired 97 forward Shawn O’Malley from the Shreveport Mudbugs of the North American Hockey League for Future Considerations. O’Malley played the first half of the season with the Mudbugs after coming from the U18 Victory Honda club in Detroit, where he was a teammate of current Grizzlies players, TJ Friedmann and Justin Michaelian. The 6’0 200lb winger played on the left side with Friedmann and Michaelian last season. “I expect Shawn to get comfortable real quick and become an asset for our hockey club right away,” commented Head Coach/GM Craig Didmon. “We expect him to be a 200ft forward that finishes checks and plays with an edge and fits in as a great teammate.” Cory Hatcher has been reassigned to the Westshore Wolves of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League. The Victoria Grizzlies would like thank Cory for the great commitment and dedication he put towards the Grizzlies hockey club and the Westshore community this season. The organization hopes to see Cory in the Grizzlies lineup again.
Jost Leaving University For Western Hockey League?
The Regina Pats are content to play the waiting game with Tyson Jost. In the interest of due diligence, Regina has stayed in contact with the Colorado Avalanche regarding the dynamic 18-year-old centre, who was selected 10th overall in the 2016 NHL draft. As expected, Pats head coach/GM John Paddock was informed last week that Jost would return to the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks at the conclusion of the world junior championship. That decision officially closed the door on the Pats — for now. Regina acquired Jost’s WHL rights last summer from the Everett Silvertips, who failed to recruit the Kelowna native after he was selected seventh overall in the 2013 bantam draft. Instead, Jost spent two seasons in the B.C. junior A league before joining North Dakota for the 2016-17 campaign. Paddock met with Jost and his mother in the off-season and came away impressed with the youngster, who has been lauded for his character as much as his talent. Jost, who is friends with Pats centre Sam Steel, listened to Paddock’s pitch but also made it clear he was headed for UND, the alma mater of his boyhood hero, Jonathan Toews. The Chicago Blackhawks’ superstar was selected first overall in the 2003 bantam draft but he spurned the Tri-City Americans in favour of North Dakota. Although Jost has never wavered from that same path, the Pats are keeping tabs in the unlikely event that he becomes available down the road. “It’s not really in our equation at this time,” said Paddock. “We did a deal (with Everett). It’s there if something happens but at this time it hasn’t happened.” Regina’s trade with Everett involved conditional bantam picks, including a 2017 first-rounder if Jost reported this season. Since he’s staying at UND, that pick is now available for the Pats to use in another deal prior to Tuesday’s trade deadline. If Jost were to join the Pats next season, they would reportedly surrender a first- and a fourth-round pick in 2019. That scenario remains in play — assuming the Avalanche sign Jost to a contract later this year, thus making him ineligible to return to the NCAA next season. The Pats would like to think they’re a viable fall-back option if he doesn’t make the NHL, especially since Regina is a finalist to host the 2018 Memorial Cup. That said, Paddock fully expects to see Jost wearing Colorado’s colours next season. There’s already speculation that he could sign this spring at the conclusion of the NCAA playoffs and immediately join the struggling Avalanche. “He’s going to be given every chance to play in Colorado next year as long as they sign him,” said Paddock. “If they don’t sign him, then he’s going to be in North Dakota. None of this has anything to do with us, really. It’s all in other peoples’ control.” Jost is enjoying a stellar freshman campaign with the defending NCAA-champions, who are ranked No. 7 in the country. He’s currently second on the team with 10 goals and 22 points in 19 games after an up-and-down performance with Team Canada, recording one goal and three assists in seven games. “To me it was a little bit hard to (evaluate),” Paddock said of Jost’s world junior showing. “He sort of bounced around through the lineup. (But) I didn’t have to see him. I saw him in North Dakota (earlier this season). He’s a very similar player to Sam (who leads the WHL in scoring). “It would be a big bonus (if he ever came) because he’s an elite player.”
Centennials Sign King:
The Merritt Centennials announced today the signing of defenceman Ethan King for the remainder of the 2016-17 season. King comes to the Cents from the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League. In 14 games as a rookie with the Hurricanes this season, the 17-year-old was held scoreless. He spent 2015-16 with the North Okanagan Knights of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, but only got into five games due to a knee injury. The 6’6″, 225 lb. blueliner from Vernon, BC, was selected by Lethbridge in the 2nd round, 23rd overall of the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft. King is an alumni of the Pursuit of Excellence program, where he played from 2012-15. “It’s almost impossible to miss our newest addition. We hope to have a trade-off with Ethan where he gives us quality minutes and makes things difficult for opposing forwards, and we’ll help develop him into the player he wants to become,” said Cents GM and Head Coach Joe Martin. In another move, defenceman Tyler Holz has left the Centennials. The 20-year-old will return to his hometown of Osoyoos and play junior B in the KIJHL with the Coyotes. “Some players decide to pack it in, and some don’t. We’re happy with our team. Now that the deadline has passed, we look forward to focusing on the task at hand – and that’s winning games, getting better everyday, and just enjoying hockey,” added Martin. Holz had 13 assists in 79 career games in Merritt.
Spruce Kings Sign O'Rourke:
The Prince George Spruce Kings would like to announce they have added 1999 forward Ethan O’Rourke from the Prince George Cougars of the Western Hockey League. From Penticton, BC, the 6’5”, 199 lbs O’Rourke is a product of the Okanagan Hockey Academy. Last season with the Cariboo Cougars, O’Rourke had 16 points in 30 regular season games, followed up by one goal and three assists in seven playoff appearances. This year has been spent with the Prince George Cougars where O’Rourke has one goal and one assist in 19 games. This is the second addition the Spruce Kings have made from the Prince George Cougars this year after acquiring goalie Tavin Grant earlier in the season. “Ethan will be a good addition to our group. He’s a big bodied young player who will add more depth to an already deep group of forwards. He moves well for a big player and has the ability to be a very effective player for us,” said Spruce Kings General Manager Mike Hawes.