Harvey Smyl’s last major transaction as general manager of the Chilliwack Chiefs may have been one of his all-time best.
Details of Smyl’s trade-deadline deal with the Brooks Bandits have finally been revealed, with the Chiefs getting three more players.
Austin Plevy went to Brooks, with Mason Boh the only player who came back immediately.
Boh, a Colorado native, impressed in 16 regular season games. With speed to spare, Boh collected two goals and seven points, and could have had plenty more.
His wheels created plenty of opportunities his hands couldn’t cash in, hinting at more upside if he can put it all together.
“For him, being in one place from the start of the year and settling down, I think continuity will be good for him,” said new Chiefs head coach and GM Jason Tatarnic.
The first of the new acquisitions is 19 year old blueliner Brandon Tkachuk, a Calgary native.
The five-foot-10 and 165 pound D-man had two goals and six points in 44 games last year. Even if he isn’t racking up gaudy point totals, Tatarnic believes he can contribute to the attack.
“He makes great outlet passes and drives offence from the back-end,” Tatarnic said. “Defensively, he’s a guy who uses his skating to defend. You don’t always have to pressure the body. You can pressure the puck, and his mobility allows him to defend well.”
Tkachuk went to the 2013 RBC Cup with the Bandits, and brings intangibles to his new team.
“When you get players with RBC Cup experience you assume they have leadership ability, but that’s not always the case,” Tatarnic noted. “With Brandon, it’s quite clear that he does. He’s a very mature team-first guy, and I got the sense right away that he cares about his teammates.”
Twenty year old Jake Larson comes to Chilliwack after scoring 11 goals and 35 points in 60 games last season.
A five-foot-11 and 160 pound forward with an NCAA commitment to the University of Alaska Anchorage, Larson also has RBC Cup experience.
He skated with the Minnesota Wilderness, the Saskatchewan league rep in the 2013 tourney, and Tatarnic believes he’ll be good skating alongside a more offensive-minded linemate.
“He has good speed and the capability of putting the puck in the net, even if he didn’t do it as often as he wanted to last year,” Tatarnic said. “Watching him on film, I gained more appreciation for how sound he is defensively. He’s very aware in the D-zone.”
The final piece in the Plevy deal is 18 year old forward Madison Dunn, a player you may not wish to get attached to just yet.
“Madison has some hesitation and he’s got to figure some things out,” Tatarnic explained. “We want kids who want to be in Chilliwack, and I’ve asked him to do some research. I’ve giving him time to think about what he wants to do.”
Because Dunn’s rights have been traded, the Chiefs hold most of the cards. If he decides to not come to Chilliwack, Tatarnic said he’ll be placed on the CJHL’s suspension list.
“If he doesn’t come here, he’s still an asset for our club,” Tatarnic added. “We would look to move him in exchange for a player of similar age and talent level.”
If he does show up, Dunn could quickly become a star.
He had twelve goals and 19 points in 38 games last year, good production from a young player on a deep Bandits team.
“I think he can be a player who creates lots of offence for us,” Tatarnic said of the five-foot-eight 165 pound youngster. “And even though he’s an offensive player, he’s got grit and a mean streak that makes him even more effective.”
Tatarnic expects more roster moves to be revealed after June 1 as he gets a better idea which players from last year’s team will return in 2014-15.
Get more Chiefs info online at chilliwackchiefs.net.