Coach VanHereweghe has solved his 20 year old problem. VanHereweghe, who inheritied nine eligible 20 year olds upon taking over as coach and general manager in March, announced late last week that he has traded ’93 forward Tanner Clarkson and ’93 defenceman Jordyn Wozniak to the Drayton Valley Thunder in exchange for future considerations. Coupled with a move made last month to send ’93 defenceman Ray Bell and ’94 forward Josh Cook to the Winkler Flyers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, this latest trade leaves the Bobcats with six 20 year olds eligible to make the 2013-14 roster which matches the AJHL maximum of six dressed 20 year olds in any given game.
Coach VanHereweghe on the 20 year old situation: “I was fully aware we had an age problem coming in to this season, forcing a coach to become involved in what I find to be the most challenging aspect of Jr. ‘A’ hockey – moving players. All of the players involved in the movement over the summer were deemed to be both good players and good community citizens. However, they got caught up in a numbers’ game.”
Clarkson was picked up mid-season last year, and generated eight goals with seven assists for 15 points and 12 penalty minutes in his 24 games with the Bobcats. “Tanner has the potential to be a very good offensive player and I wish him the best in his final junior year of eligibility in Drayton Valley,” said VanHereweghe.
Wozniak played two seasons with the Bobcats, collecting one goal and 11 assists for 12 career points and 94 penalty minutes in 75 total games played. The Elk Point, Alberta native also played his midget hockey in Lloydminster, and earned himself an ‘A’ with the Jr. ‘A’ Bobcats in 2012-13. “I just felt that Jordyn is a very steady defenceman that may benefit from a change in scenery. In relation to depth, defence is one area of the Bobcats line up that appears to have the depth to allow us to move a veteran player,” said VanHereweghe.
Bell joined the Bobcats at the start of the 2012-13 season, and recorded one goal and five assists for six points and 106 penalty minutes in 57 games played.
Cook was acquired on November 27th from the Brooks Bandits, and had a pair of goals to go with five assists for seven points and six penalty minutes in 15 games with the Bobcats.
The Bobcats organization would like to thank each of these players for their contributions to our organization, and wish them the best of luck in their futures. Along with graduating forward Dustin Lebrun, Clarkson, Bell and Cook were the team’s only B.C. players last year. The team will now head into main camp on Thursday with many spots up for grabs as coach VanHereweghe aims to have a more balanced team this year with respect to player age.
Main camp for the Bobcats begins this Thursday, August 22nd at the Centennial Civic Centre, with the team’s intersquad game set for Sunday afternoon at 2:30 PM. The team will play five exhibition games, with home games on Monday, August 26 against the Bonnyville Pontiacs, and Thursday, August 29 against the Sherwood Park Crusaders. Road games will be played in Bonnyville on August 27 and Sherwood Park on September 1st, with a neutral-site game in Wainwright on August 30 against the Drumheller Dragons. Home opener is set for Friday, September 6th against the rival Bonnyville Pontiacs.