We’re a little over two weeks away from the start of the AJHL preseason! The teams are the league are starting to add their final few pieces before camp starts up next week. That means we could see a few more deals be made not so long from now.
As for now, we only had one trade to report this week which involved two South Division contenders. Along with that, a couple of starts came out from Hockey Canada involving some AJHL names, a star committed to one of the top hockey schools in the NCAA, and a potential future star joined the Canmore Eagles.
South Teams Trade Key Pieces
A big trade went down in the South Division; the Calgary Mustangs receive 00 G Ben Howard and 00 F Cole Basnett from the Okotoks Oilers in exchange for 00 F Louis Jamernik.
With this trade, the Mustangs have set themselves up nicely in the goaltending department with Howard joining Ashton Abel between the pipes. Howard had a phenomenal first year in the AJHL and was undefeated in his first nine starts with the Oilers. The Calgary native finished with a 22-3-0 record in 27 starts, had a 2.33 GAA, along with a 0.911 SV%. Many also argued that Howard should’ve been named to the All-Rookie team over his now teammate Abel.
Also coming over in the trade was Cole Basnett. Basnett didn’t put up any crazy numbers in 2018 but was a key contributor from the bottom-six with 19 points (7 goals, 12 assists) in 48 games.
Howard and Basnett are the second and third Oilers to join Calgary this offseason with Reece Soukoroff joining them as part of the Ayden Roche-Setoguchi deal.
Now, heading further south to Okotoks was Louis Jamernick. Jamernick never dressed for the Mustangs after only joining them earlier this summer after being traded from Brooks. He’ll be a pivotal piece to the Oilers success this season after they lost some key contributors from last years team to post-secondary.
A similar trade to this happened last offseason, too. Nolan Thompson was traded from the Oilers to the Mustangs as part of the completion of the Jordan Xavier trade which was made in December of 2016. Thompson didn’t spend to much time in his hometown of Calgary before being shipped to Okotoks biggest southern rivals: the Brooks Bandits.
Brooks Bandits Star Returning?
Earlier, this the University of Vermont announced their 2022 class via Twitter. A couple of AJHL players, as expected, were on the list in Dallas Comeau (Grande Prairie Storm) and Nic Hamre (Brooks Bandits). However, one notable absentee was Hamre’s Bandits’ teammate Simon Boyko. According to both Elite Prospects and the original press release on his commitment he was supposed to be on his way to Vermont for the 2018/19 season. The scoring winger is currently active with a roster number on the Bandits website.
Boyko had a terrific first year in the AJHL scoring 48 points (18 goals, 30 assists) in 56 games. He was also selected to the AJHL All-Rookie South team and was invited to the CJHL Top Prospect game. Brooks host the RBC Cup this season; with Boyko apparently not attending Vermont this fall, he’ll be a huge addition to their lineup.
Storm Start Commits
Sticking with the Vermont trend.
Zach Okabe announced on Thursday that he had committed the St Cloud State University. Previously, Okabe had been committed to the University of Vermont for the 2019-20 season.
You can get the full story right here.
Canmore Continue to Bolster Roster
Tye Carriere is joining the Eagles for the 2018-19 after the making them jump from Midget AAA.
Carriere has spent the 2017/18 season with the Red Deer Chiefs of the AMHL where he had a solid offensive year with 32 points (18 goals, 14 assists) in 34 appearances.
He’s a talented offensive player who can create plays for not only himself but his teammates too. He’ll be a much-welcomed addition to the Canmore lineup who finished with the second fewest goals (180) in the South Division last season.
Canada West Coach announced
Bonnyville Pontiacs Head Coach, Rich Swan, was named the Team Canada West Head Coach for the 2018 World Junior A Challenge. Swan won’t have to travel far with the tournament returning to Bonnyville for the second time in three years. Last year, the Pontiacs coach was a gold medalist with Team Canada West at the same tournament in Fort St John, British Colombia. He’ll be joined behind the bench by four coaches: Joe Martin (Merritt, BCHL), Derek Sweet-Coulter (English River, SIJHL), Brandon West (Surrey, BCHL), and Jamie McCaig (Spruce Grove, AJHL).
Oilers Star Receives Hlinka Gold
Dylan Holloway continues his trend of winning medals with Team Canada on Saturday night winning the gold medal in the Ivan Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
Holloway was fantastic in the final at both ends of the ice. His work on the penalty kill was tremendous due to his hard work and for the majority of the time, he had the puck in the Swedish zone. He also contributed offensively with an assist after smashing a wrist shot right off his teammate’s cage which then deflected in.
Congratulations to Dylan and his Team Canada teammates!
Let us know your thoughts by tweeting directly at me @LiamHorrobin or at @belowtheice.