News broke yesterday, and was made official late yesterday afternoon, that the Smoke Eaters were involved in a mammoth trade with the Penticton Vees that sees former star Sam Mellor head to the Okanagan. Trail receives 20 year-old forward Alex Holland, 20 year-old defenseman Djordje Leposavic and future considerations from the Vees for Mellor, who is returning to the BCHL for his overage season after spending last year in the NCAA at Alaska-Anchorage.
The official release from the Smokies is available here, and Vees broadcaster Fraser Rodgers breaks down the entire day's work from Penticton's perspective (which might help explain how Trail gets a Grizzlie and a Trapper in the deal) here.
To me, the trade is a win for the Smokies. I'm sure head coach Bill Birks' phone was ringing off the hook when word surfaced that Mellor was contemplating a return to Junior A. To turn an all-star asset into two, and possibly three pieces that the Smoke Eaters can use immediately helps immensely too. Holland is a Massachusetts native who is committed to Merrimack for the fall of 2013, while Leposavic is returning to his home province after a Second All-Star team performance last season in the NOJHL.
All the best in Penticton Sam, and welcome to Trail Alex and Djordje!