Holding a full house, Vernon Viper head coach/GM Mark Ferner unloaded one of his veteran cards Tuesday by trading forward Mackenzie Bauer to the Cowichan Valley Capitals for future considerations.
Bauer, who turns 20 in January, was hampered by injuries last season and pocketed five goals and nine points in 27 games with the Snakes. The Three Hills, Alta. product added one goal and an assist in 11 B.C. Hockey League playoff games.
Bauer was chosen in the eighth round by the Brandon Wheat Kings in the 2011 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft. He compiled 56 goals in two years of Midget with the UFA Bisons in Strathmore, Alta.
“He’s a great kid and a good player, but the reality is we have too many bodies now and we’re going to have too many bodies in camp (in late August),” said Ferner. “We’re going to have three or four teams in camp and the returning kids know the kids coming in are going to push them for jobs and the kids coming in know there are jobs available if they earn them. It’s going to be a very competitive camp and it’s all about putting the best team on the ice.”
Vernon has eight forwards, two d-men and goalie Jarrod Schamerhorn as returnees.
The Vipers open the exhibition season Friday, Aug. 28 in Salmon Arm versus the Silverbacks. The same two teams meet the next night at Kal Tire Place.
Vernon visits the Prince George Spruce Kings Friday, Sept. 4 and host the Kings the next night.
Meanwhile, Prince George has acquired the CJHL playing rights to D Mitch Meek from the West Kelowna Warriors in exchange for the BCHL-CHL listing rights to F Luke Harrison.
Meek was traded earlier this month from the Vipers to the Warriors for D Mac Ferner, who is Mark’s son. Harrison is a 19-year-old West Kelowna native who spent four years in the WHL. He rang up 12 goals and 23 points with the Kamloops Blazers last season.