The Chilliwack Chiefs have added much-needed top-six scoring punch, picking up Philip Zielonka from the Coquitlam Express.
A 19-year-old Quebec native, Zielonka has 20 goals and 33 points in 24 games this season.
The cost to acquire him, however, was steep.
Chiefs general manager Harvey Smyl surrendered 17-year-old forward Garrett Forster and 18-year-old blueliner Ben Israel.
Smyl had high hopes for Forster, who had six goals and 20 points in 54 games as a 16-year-old rookie last season. But Forster’s development stagnated. Through 35 games this year the Delta kid had managed just four goals and 11 points.
Israel, a BCHL rookie, had exceeded that production from the blueline, posting two goals and 13 points in 30 games.
But Chilliwack had an excess of defencemen, and it almost certain one would be included in any major deal.
The acquisition of Zielonka was needed to match the Surrey Eagles acquisition of Adam Tambellini. Chilliwack’s Mainland division rival landed him from the Vernon Vipers in exchange for 94-born forward Mason Blacklock.
Tambellini has 22 goals and 39 points in 36 games this year.
Chilliwack’s other division rivals stood pat or sold.
In addition to Zielonka, the Express also offloaded Mitch Nardi and Jon Siemer.
The Langley Rivermen and Prince George Spruce Kings made no major moves either way.