Ahead of Thursday’s 3 p.m. BC Hockey League trade deadline, the Vernon Vipers made a pair of deadline deals.
In the first move, the Vipers sent defenceman Mitch Andres, 20, to the Chilliwack Chiefs in exchange for defenceman Will Dow-Kenny. The 18-year-old from Abbotsford was originally traded by the Vipers in the offseason in exchange for Carver Watson. He has one goal and seven points in 34 games with the Chiefs.
“It’s always tough to make a trade. In this case, Mitch Andres was a warrior for us and was a big piece to our blue line,” said head coach and general manager of the Vipers, Mark Ferner. “We know what we’re getting in Will and we know that Mitch is going to a great organization in Chilliwack.”
In the second move of the day, Vernon added 20-year-old forward Lane Zablocki from the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League.
Zablocki is a third-round pick of the Detroit Red Wings and has played in 22 games with the Rockets this season registering four goals and eight assists.
“We felt with the trouble we’ve had scoring, the addition of Lane will really help fill that void,” said Ferner. “He’s a proven scorer that we feel will come in and make a big impact.”
Zablocki, from Wetaskiwin, Alta., has played 223 career WHL games for the Rockets, Victoria Royals, Lethbridge Hurricanes, Red Deer Rebels and Regina Pats. He has scored 62 goals including a career-high 28 in 64 games in 2016-17 with the Pats and Rebels.
Zablocki spent one year in the Alberta Junior Hockey League, 20014-15, with the Sherwood Park Crusaders, scoring 15 goals in 55 games.
The Vipers hosted the Salmon Arm Silverbacks tonight at 7 p.m. and entertain the Powell River Kings Sunday at 2 p.m. Both games are at Kal Tire Place.
The Silverbacks acquired former Vipers defenceman Darren Rizzolo from the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in exchange for the CJHL playing rights to Ethan McLaughlin and future considerations.