Kings add vet­eran for­wards

The Prince George Citizen - - Sports - Ted CLARKE Cit­i­zen staff [email protected]­i­t­i­

On BCHL trade dead­line day the Prince Ge­orge Spruce Kings picked up a cou­ple ju­nior-savvy for­wards and kept their vaunted de­fen­sive corps in­tact.

They ac­quired 19-year-old for­ward Lu­cas Van­roboys in a deal Thurs­day with the Cowichan Val­ley Capi­tals, send­ing the Caps the CJHL ju­nior A rights to Port­land Win­ter­hawks goalie Shane Farkas, picked up ear­lier in the day from the West Kelowna War­riors along with fu­ture con­sid­er­a­tions in ex­change for 19-year-old cen­tre Gar­ret Worth.

The Kings also added winger Nick Wil­son, a 19-year-old vet­eran of 126 BCHL games, who was play­ing in the Pa­cific Ju­nior Hockey League for the Rich­mond Sock­eyes.

He’s got some size and he plays the mid­dle and it’s al­ways nice to have big cen­tremen.

— Gen­eral man­ager Mike Hawes

Van­roboys, a six-foot-one, 176-pound na­tive of Thamesville, Ont., was one of the top­six for­wards this sea­son for the Capi­tals. He scored a goal against the Spruce Kings Satur­day night in Dun­can to help the Caps beat the Kings 5-2.

In 27 games with the Caps he had seven goals and seven as­sists for 14 points and 87 penalty min­utes. He came to the BCHL last sea­son, join­ing the Nanaimo Clip­pers after two sea­sons with the Se­lects Hockey Academy Un­der-18s of the U.S. Premier Hockey League based in South Kent, Conn. He played 55 games for the Clip­pers and had 14 goals, 24 points and 81 penalty min­utes.

In July, Van­roboys was traded to Cowichan Val­ley as part of a six­player swap which sent Wil­son to Nanaimo. The Spruce Kings tried two years ago to re­cruit Van­roboys to Prince Ge­orge but he chose Nanaimo in­stead.

“He’s a 19-year-old cen­tre­man – good size, good skater – and he’s some­one we’ve re­ally liked for the last few years and we’re ex­cited to get him,” said Kings gen­eral man­ager Mike Hawes. “He’s good on both sides of the ice, of­fen­sively and de­fen­sively. The goal he scored against us was a re­ally nice goal.

“He’s got some size and he plays the mid­dle and it’s al­ways nice to have big cen­tremen. He’s go­ing to com­ple­ment our for­ward group re­ally well. We’re deep up front, maybe we don’t score as much as we’d like, and we need play­ers that are re­spon­si­ble in both ends of the ice and he’s cer­tainly that.”

Wil­son, a five-foot-seven, 157-pound na­tive of Sur­rey, played 14 games with the Clip­pers this sea­son and had one as­sist and 20 penalty min­utes.

In 12 games with the ju­nior B Sock­eyes he was on a point-pergame pace with six goals, seven as­sists and 64 penalty min­utes in 12 games.

As a 17-year-old with the Capi­tals he put up five goals, 12 points and 73 penalty min­utes in 57 games in his rookie BCHL sea­son and fol­lowed that in 201718 with 10 goals 18 points and 99 penalty min­utes in 57 games. Wil­son played his 15-year-old and 16-year-old sea­sons with Delta Academy.

“Nick has a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence in the league and he’s a gritty, in­y­our-face guy, not the big­gest kid in the world but he works re­ally hard and he’s the type of player who will ap­peal to our fans,” said Hawes.

The Kings GM made it clear to the other teams in the league he wasn’t about to part with any of his de­fence­men and with Lo­gan Neaton on top of the goalie charts he wasn’t about the move him ei­ther.

“There was a ton of teams try­ing to pry one of our d-men away from us but I didn’t want to break up the best d-corps in the league – the strong­est part of our team es­sen­tially,” said Hawes. “We’ve got some pretty cov­eted play­ers.

“It’s been a busy few days and to­day was crazy-busy. It’s been a dif­fer­ent type of year be­cause es­sen­tially every team in our league makes the play­offs so no one is re­ally sell­ing like in years past where there were four or five teams out of it and they were mov­ing good play­ers. The last cou­ple years, 16 out of the 17 make the play­offs and even the 17th team thinks they’re go­ing to get in the play­offs still.”

Worth, a Lake Su­pe­rior State re­cruit, ar­rived in a trade Nov. 27 from the Ver­non Vipers in a deal that sent 19-year-old goalie Bradley Cooper to Ver­non. Worth hurt his knee and was lim­ited to just seven games with the Kings and he had a goal and an as­sist. Hawes says he will likely get more play­ing time in West Kelowna than he would have re­ceived had he stayed with the Spruce Kings.

Farkas has been a starter for Port­land, play­ing 39 WHL games this sea­son, but with the Win­ter­hawks ac­quir­ing NHL-drafted goalie Josh Hofer Thurs­day in a deal with Swift Cur­rent the Capi­tals be­lieve there’s a good chance they can con­vince Farkas, a Pen­tic­ton na­tive, to play his fi­nal ju­nior sea­son next year in the BCHL.

Prince Ge­orge (25-11-2-2, sec­ond in Main­land Divi­sion) is host­ing Cowichan Val­ley (11-25-4-1, fifth in Is­land Divi­sion) tonight at Rolling Mix Con­crete Arena – the Spruce Kings’ first home game of 2019. The Kings will be try­ing to end a three-game los­ing streak.

The Capi­tals were one of the busiest BCHL teams lead­ing up to the dead­line. On Wed­nes­day they dealt 19-year-old D Ty Pochip­in­ski to the Pen­tic­ton Vees for 19-yearold F Cruz Cote and ac­quired 18-year-old F Lach Hadley from the Vic­to­ria Griz­zlies for fu­ture con­sid­er­a­tions.

In one other BCHL trade, Pen­tic­ton ac­quired 19-year-old de­fence­man Jarin Sut­ton, a Prince Ge­orge prod­uct, in a deal that sent 20-year-old D Kenny John­son to Vic­to­ria.

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