Friday, January 6, 2012

Smokies Trade Hicks, Acquire AJHL Forward; Zamec Tape

What essentially works out to a three-team deal has been completed between the Smoke Eaters, AJHL's Brooks Bandits and AJHL's Calgary Canucks.

First, the Smokies shipped '92 defenceman Tanner Hicks to the Bandits for future considerations. Hicks was Trail's leading defensive scorer, tallying 13 points in 24 games since arriving in the West Kootenay from Alberni Valley.

Second, the Smokies picked up '93 forward Riley McDougall from the Canucks for futures. The Calgary native has 17 points (5-12) this year, after putting up 25 (13-12) as a rookie in Okotoks last season.

The full release from the team is here. An interview I conducted with head coach Bill Birks is also available here.

Tough to see a player of Hicks' calibre leave the Smokies, but he will do well in Brooks (who by the way are led in scoring by former Trail forward Matt Wilkins and also feature former Smokie Ryan Luiten up front). He'll get to play closer to his home in Calgary and possibly get a shot at a long playoff run, as the Bandits lead the league's South division.

McDougall meanwhile, comes in as a top-6 guy who should figure in the Smokies plans for the next couple of years. It's quite clear this team is building for the 2012-13 season and hopefully the Calgarian can complement an ever-growing crop of '93s.

All the best in Brooks Tanner and welcome to the Smokies Riley!

Border Bruins Audio: As promised, some tape from yesterday's proclamation that the Grand Forks Border Bruins are not done for. I spoke with head coach/GM Matt Zamec yesterday, that interview can be listened to here.

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