Each week during the BCHL season, local hockey guru Jacob Bestebroer pens a column for the Chilliwack Progress, providing his thoughts on the Chilliwack Chiefs and goings-on around the BCHL.
Trade deadline day in the CJHL was an interesting one for Chilliwack Chiefs and other fan bases around the league.
While the Chiefs were making three moves to help in their pursuit of a playoff spot, other Interior conference teams were also active.
Here’s a quick look at some other moves that indirectly affect the Chiefs.
The Penticton Vees, who have won 21 straight games, decided having five of the top seven scorers in the league on their roster simply would not do.
So they made it six of seven by trading for Wade Murphy of the Victoria Grizzlies. By my count this trade, which cost them 17-year-old forward Mark McLellan and cash (maybe more, details were tough to find early Wednesday morning) leaves the Vees with just three players expected to return next season. Penticton is going all-in with a national championship in mind.
The Prince George Spruce Kings, who visit Prospera Centre Friday night, improved themselves offensively by adding Jarryd Ten Vaanholt from the Victoria Grizzlies in exchange for future considerations.
The Spruce Kings rely heavily on their top line of Paul De Jersey, Michael Colantone and Jujhar Khaira.
This trade gives them much needed secondary scoring, with Vaanholt collecting 17 goals and 41 points this season.
The Vernon Vipers went backwards at the trade deadline, losing a key player when Dylan Walchuk bolted for the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League.
Walchuk led the Vipers in scoring last season with 56 points, and rejoined Vernon just prior to Christmas after a stint at Northern Michigan University didn’t work out. Walchuk had one goal and six points in six games with the Vipers.
Vernon tried to recover by acquiring 91-born forward Clayton Chessa from Trail for future considerations, then flipping him to Nanaimo for 91-born forward Colton Cyr.
Cyr had nine goals and 14 points in 29 games this season.
The Chiefs enter this weekend’s action in third place in the Interior Conference, three points behind the third place Spruce Kings with two games in hand. The Kings are in Chilliwack Friday night.
Saturday night the Chiefs travel to Merritt for another large game. Merritt is currently in seconds place, nine points up on the Chiefs, who have three games in hand.
Early notice on this, and we will be reminding everyone next week as we get closer to the game, but please note that after the Chiefs Jan. 22 home game versus the Westside Warriors all fans can join the Chiefs on the ice for a post-game skate.
Skate rentals will be available and the game starts at 5 p.m.