It was announced, via the AJHL website, that the Bonnyville Pontiacs have traded 99-born netminder Justin Travis to the Calgary Canucks in exchange for future considerations.
In his first full season in the AJHL, Travis played in 30 games for the Yaks and finished with a 3.24 GAA along with a 0.895 SV% in the regular season. When the playoffs came around his save percentage improved to 0.903, but his goals against rose to 3.62.
While his numbers don’t jump off the page at you, Travis was one of the Pontiacs best players in 2018. He was officially named the starter after the trade of former starter Sandro Sylvestre on January 9th to Gatineau (QJHL). With a weak Bonnyville team in front of him, Travis went on to play in 19 games from that point until the end of the season which was the most by a North Division starting goaltender. From then on, he carried a 0.934SV% and a GAA similar to his final tally at 3.21.
My point is that Travis is one of the best up and coming netminders in the AJHL. He single-handedly dragged his team to overtime in Game One of the first round against the Fort McMurray Oil Barons. Unfortunately, his 46 saves on the night were not enough to give his team a 1-0 series lead. The rest of his playoffs weren’t anything to call home about, but after doing all he did in Game 1, you can almost excuse whatever happens after.
With himself and the newly acquired Colby Muise, the Pontiacs could have one of the best one-two punches in the AJHL. Now, the battle for the number one job will be between Muise and Easton Hesse who is currently the two goaltenders active on the Bonnyville roster. Muise was acquired in a trade from North York (OJHL) for Aidan Casey, Adam Pannacci and future considerations. When in North York, he had a career year with his 1.81 GAA and a 0.934%. As for Hesse, he was playing in Midget-AAA last season for the Leduc Oil Kings and also made a few appearances for the Spruce Grove Saints.
This move to Calgary could be a game changer for Travis. Although he got an opportunity to shine in Bonnyville towards the end of last season, this is a fresh opportunity for himself to prove his worth with the Canucks.
Since Logan Drackett left two seasons ago, they’ve struggled to find their number one guy. Pierce Diamond and Caiden Kreitz were brought in to be the replacements, but that didn’t go to plan, and they were soon moved out of Calgary. It was then left to Erik Gordon and Kolby Matthews to claim the spot which neither did. It will obviously be a battle for the spot at camp, between Travis and Matthews, but this could really be the former Pontiacs job to lose.
In other news:
Travis wasn’t the only player to be shipped out of Bonnyville in the last couple of days. Austin Chorney was traded back to the BCHL, after being acquired from Salmon Arm, to Cowichan Valley (BCHL) in exchange for Daine Dubois.
One player on the move to the Pontiacs is Noah Lugli from Aurora (OJHL) in exchange for future considerations.
Moving away from Bonnyville, Jackon Arcan of the Whitecourt Wolverines, who was brought in on July 9th from Carleton Place (CCHL), has been shipped back to the CCHL to Navan in exchange for Coleton Cianci and Arik Breton.
We’ll go into much more detail on these trades in this Sunday’s edition of AJHL Weekly!