The White Rock Whalers have been busy lately – both on and off the ice.
In the last week, the Pacific Junior Hockey League team has won two of three games, highlighted by a 4-3 Sunday road win over the North Vancouver Wolf Pack, the top team in the entire junior ‘B’ circuit and the class of the league over the past few seasons.
A day earlier at Centennial Arena, the Whalers dropped a 4-3 decision to the visiting Delta Ice Hawks, and on Remembrance Day, defeated the Richmond Sockeyes 3-2 at Richmond’s Minoru Arena.
The wins provided a boost to the Whalers, who are now above the .500 mark with a record of 11-10-1 (win-loss-overtime loss), which puts them fourth in the PJHL’s six-team Tom Shaw Conference, and sixth in the league overall.
Away from the ice, management has been busy recrafting its roster on the fly, too. Since late October, the team has made a flurry of trades, had one player promoted to the junior ‘A’ ranks – Zachary Sherwin signed with the BC Hockey League’s Langley Rivermen – while a few other players have affiliated with clubs at the junior ‘A’ and major-junior level, though they remain with the White Rock club.
The same day that Sherwin’s move to the BCHL was announced, the Whalers swapped goaltender Mason Upton and defenceman Joesph Iannacone to the Surrey Knights in exchange for defenceman Ethan Urquhart. Then, a day later, White Rock acquired forward Owen Thibodeau from the Delta Ice Hawks in exchange for a player-development fee.
On Oct. 22, the Whalers and Knights swung another deal. White Rock sending forward Kazuya Yamazaki up the road to the Knights as part of a three-team swap. Iannacone, who was sent from White Rock to Surrey a week earlier, was sent to Richmond, while the Whalers picked up forward Jacob Dorohoy.
The Whalers and Knights weren’t done making deals, either. On Nov. 9, the two clubs struck another agreement, with the Whalers sending forward Josh Henderson to Surrey, and fellow forward Vince Rodriques coming south to White Rock.
Rounding out the flurry of deals was a pair of Nov. 10 trades, with the Port Moody Panthers and North Okanagan Knights of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. In the first deal, White Rock sent 2004-born forward Kai Hughes to Port Moody for two forwards, 20-year-old Jayson Beauregard and Dawson Ingatieff, 19, and in the second, White Rock sent a player-development fee to the North Okanagan in order to acquire forward Cade Enns.
Meanwhile, three Whalers, Ethan Rennie, Bryce Margetson and Ryden Mathieson have recently affiliated with other, higher-level clubs. Rennie signed with the Surrey Eagles, and will be an affiliate player for them the rest of this season – meaning he can get called up to fill-in at any point – and will join the BCHL team fulltime next fall. Margetson, meanwhile, affiliated with the Cranbrook Bucks, also of the BCHL, and Mathieson was added to the protection list of the Western Hockey League’s Prince George Cougars.
After last week’s busy schedule, the Whalers have just one game this week – Saturday (Nov. 20) at Centennial Arena against the Chilliwack Jets. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m.