Chiefs extra: Smyl’s thoughts on Interior conference moves

The Merritt Centennials, Vernon Vipers and Prince George Spruce Kings all made moves at yesterday's BCHL trade deadline.

When he wasn’t making his own moves, Chilliwack Chiefs general manager Harvey Smyl was keeping a watchful eye on trades around the BCHL.

Interior conference teams completed a handful of transactions that may affect the playoff race.

The most notable move of the day saw the Vernon Vipers lose a key player to the Western Hockey League ranks. Dylan Walchuk, Vernon’s leading scorer in 2010-11, rejoined the team six games ago after a short sting at the University of Northern Michigan.

On Tuesday, he bailed on the Vipers and made tracks to Spokane, joining the WHL’s Chiefs.

“I really feel for the Vernon guys because one, I know what they put into trying to get him stay in college and then two, what they put into getting him back,” Smyl noted. “I think they had to shake up their lineup to accommodate him, and in doing that they gave up on one and possibly two good kids. But I was quoted a couple weeks ago saying he was exactly the type of player they needed, so to lose him now must hurt.”

The Vipers tried to recover with a pair of transactions, first acquiring Clayton Chessa from Trail and then flipping him to Nanaimo for Colton Cyr. Cyr has nine goals and 14 points in 29 games this season, not exactly an ideal replacement for Walchuk.

Elsewhere in the conference, the Prince George Spruce Kings picked up the playing rights of 92-born forward Zack Rascell plus future considerations from the AJHL Canmore Eagles in exchange for future considerations.

They also picked up Jarryd Ten Vaanholt from Victoria.

“I think that he’s a very good player if he’s in the right frame of mind,” Smyl said. “He’ll play somewhere in their top eight and be a good depth guy.”

Merritt’s main move was to pick up 20-year-old forward Carter Shinkaruk from Powell River.

“They added an experienced player, and I think they should be about what they’ve been so far,” Smyl said.

Surveying the landscape, Chilliwack’s boss feels good about what his team did.

“I like the depth that we’ve added, because we’ve got variety and the ability to do a couple different things,” he said. “If Anderson plays to his capabilities, I think we’ve added a really good defenceman. The cost was a sixth or seventh guy, with the downside that we might be a little thin if we’re hit by any injuries.”