Jarryd TenVaanholt was a victim of a numbers game as much as anything.
With B.C. Hockey League rosters trimmed from 23 to 21 players for the coming season, the 1991-born West Vancouver product was the odd man out as Vernon Vipers’ head coach/GM Jason Williamson made the final cut in selecting his 12-man forward corps for the league’s 50th season.
Acquired in a four-player, offseason deal that sent forward Dane Muench and d-man Phillip Patenaude to the SJHL Kindersley Klippers, TenVaanholt was stunned to learn he was being shipped to the Victoria Grizzlies in exchange for the playing rights to Pearce Eviston (WHL Portland Winterhawks).
“We all knew there was one roster spot that had to be taken away, but I never expected it would be me,” said TenVaanholt, as he was driving off the B.C. Ferry in Schwartz Bay to join his new team.
TenVaanholt, who played last season with the Salmon Arm SilverBacks, had his calendar circled for the Vipers’ season opener against his former club Friday night at Wesbild Centre. Vernon visits the ‘Backs Saturday at Sunwave Centre.
“I was definitely looking forward to this home-and-home against Salmon Arm. Now it’s just going to be the same mentality and doing my best playing with Victoria when they face teams like Cowichan Valley (Capitals),” said the classy TenVaanholt.
In Victoria, he will be reunited with former linemate Dante Godinho, who he played with at Hollyburn.
As the Vipers showed last season, they aren’t afraid to roll with a younger roster. TenVaanholt’s departure leaves Vernon with just three 20-year-olds (they are allowed up to six) in the lineup – netminder Kirby Halcrow, and forwards Pat McGillis and Darren Nowick.
“We had younger guys that came in here and really impressed (at main camp). With the roster sizes, it made for a tough decision,” said Williamson, who noted there is no guarantee Eviston will ever leave Portland.
“We’re getting a coveted player we’ve been after for while, but it’s a chance. He’s a highly touted player in this league.”
With WHL teams getting ready to trim their rosters, there are some 20s available should Williamson decide he needs some experience, but he said it would have to be something exceptional.
“There’s some guys we have our eye on in that league, but I like our group. Unless it’s a no-brainer, we’ll stand pat and see how things go here.”
SNAKE BITES: Vernon will open the regular season with forwards McGillis, Nowick, Mike Zalewski, John Knisley, Colton Sparrow, Marcus Basara, Aaron Hadley, Alex Hagen, Jedd Soleway, Connor Hartley, Adam Tambellini and Riley Hunt, defencemen Brett Corkey, Max Mowat, Ryan Renz, Geoff Crisfield, Marc Hetnik, Turner Lawson and Luke Juha, and netminder Halcrow and Danny Todosychuk.