The Warriors are a better team this week, thanks to two deadline moves.
The first saw the club acquire forward Daniel Gayle from Fort McMurray. Gayle is a 20 year-old winger who had spent the previous 2 1/2 seasons in the WHL. This year, the Calgary native had posted 27 points in 35 games with the Oil Barons in the AJHL.
In exchange for Gayle, the Warriors sent forward Jetlan Houcher to Fort McMurray. The 18 year-old Houcher had posted 10 points in his rookie season with West Kelowna.
The Warriors weren’t finished, however.
A deal hours before the deadline saw West Kelowna pick up another quality forward. The organization sent future consideration to the Coquitlam Express in exchange for Mitch Nardi.
Nardi departs as Coquitlam’s Captain, bringing more veteran leadership and depth up the middle.
A native of Hamilton, Ontario, Nardi had 25 points in 35 games so far this year with the Express, and has already secured a scholarship to Lake Superior State University.
“We’re really happy” says Warriors Head Coach / GM Rylan Ferster of the way things turned out.
Having added a pair of character forwards, Ferster suggests his team is in better shape to overcome an ongoing rash of injuries as it heads into the stretch drive.
“We have to make the playoffs, and we have to give ourselves the best opportunity to do that right now” Ferster insists, while also acknowledging the challenges of adding depth without leaving the cupboards bare.
“You have to look at next year” Ferster says, adding; “Some of our best players are young, so you have to think about the future.”
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)