The Powell River Kings have acquired 93-born defenseman Aidan Wright from the Kingston Voyageurs in the Ontario Junior Hockey League. The deal is for forward Braeden Russell, who the Kings acquired from the Vernon Vipers in a separate deal for future considerations.
Wright, 20, has played the last 3 years for Kingston in the OJHL where he suited up in 120 regular season games, recording 10 goals and 29 points. He’s had two long playoff runs with the Voyageurs in both 11/12, where the team lost in the conference final, and 12/13. He scored 4 points in 32 post-season games for Kingston. Wright also won a silver medal at the 2011 World Junior A Challenge with Canada East, who were beaten by Kings Sean Maguire, Evan Richardson, Kent Lewis and Canada West in the final.
Wright considers himself a stay-at-home defenseman. “I like to take care of my own end, I’m hard working and I pride myself on not taking shifts off” says Wright. “I’ve heard I play a lot like Josh Gorges from the Montreal Canadiens. He’s not the biggest guy, he’s the most skilled guy, but he’s a hard working guy and takes care of his own end first, and he is the leader in that organization, so I pride myself in playing a lot like Josh Gorges.”
Head Coach and GM of the Kings, Kent Lewis, says Wright’s experience is something the Kings targeted. “We’re going to get a player that can lead on the ice, but most importantly be a strong presence in the dressing room” says Lewis. “He’ll be a player who can also practice what he preaches, in similarity to Chris Williams who we had a few years ago.”
The 5’11, 190lb product of Wawa, Ontario near Lake Superior is excited to come west for his final year of junior hockey. “I know it’s a good program, I’ve done my research” says Wright. “Everything I’ve looked at has been great, I’m really looking forward to going out there and I can’t wait to get started. Powell River has such a good history, and such a good program, for me it was a no-brainer, and when I got the call with Powell River being interested, I had to do it and it was something that was a good fit for me.”
The research was far from one-way, with the Kings doing their homework on Wright too, talking with scouts and contacts in Ontario. “We’re going to get a player who’s in his final year, he wants to win, and we were a destination where he wanted to go” says Lewis, who believes this move will inspire others on the team to push harder.
“Learning from our success, and most notably our failures in league finals, we haven’t buried the puck when we’ve outplayed opponents, and we really need to work on that” says Lewis. “We need guys to come in here and be pressed to work on that, and to deliver. Aidan is going to bring us accountability by playing the right way. He’s a great kid, he’s excited to be coming and we’re excited to get him.”
Wright will be in Powell River for main camp in late August. The BCHL season begins in Chilliwack on September 7th, against the Chiefs.
Here’s how the trade breaks down:
To Powell River Kings
Aidan Wright (93 D)
To Kingston Voyageurs
Braeden Russell (93 F)
To Vernon Vipers
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)