Invermere goaltender Brody Nelson

KIJHL: Trades brings new faces to Columbia Valley Rockies

There’s been a big turnover on the bench of the Columbia Valley Rockies

There’s been a big turnover on the bench of the Columbia Valley Rockies who have had a tough season so far, earning just 14 points after 30 games.

Earlier in December, the team parted with Ryan Lawson and Doan Smith — two of the team’s top forwards. Smith was sent to the Fernie Ghostriders and and Ryan Lawson was traded to his hometown of Kelowna. In return, the Rockies received Tyler Rebelato and Kale Johnston from Fernie, and Nick Evdokimoff from Kelowna.

“There was an opportunity to move them (Smith and Lawson) forward, potentially help them out; and help our team become younger,” said Rockies general manager Ross Bidinger.

Rebelato is a “puck-moving defenceman with good skill,” Bidinger said.

Johnston, a year younger than Smith, achieved a similar number of points with the Ghostriders last year as Smith scored for the Rockies.

“He fell down on the depth chart in Fernie, where he’ll be a first-liner (on the Rockies),” said Bidinger.

Evdokimoff is “a big kid,” whose size brings solidity to the defensive unit, he added.

Bidinger said the major trades had to happen because the team was missing heart and leadership.

“The culture in dressing room and effort in games needed to change,” he said.

While they managed to find success offensively this season, it was mostly offset by poor defence.

“They’re producing, but not shutting guys down,” said Bidinger.

Another top Rockies performer, Carter Melynk, is expected to move in the near future, Bidinger said.

Also leaving the Rockies are Dondre Watson and Alan MacPherson, who both advanced to Junior A leagues in Alberta.

And hometown goaltender Brody Nelson will be finishing his season with Ryan Lawson in Kelowna.

“Whenever anybody moves ahead, it’s always good,” said Bidinger.

The trades come just before the deadline. Smith and Lawson, who will both be 20 next year, are still eligible to play one final year with the Rockies

Just Posted

Fat Man Yoga offers low intimidation workout

“I needed to do more stretching and more flexibility stuff for my fat man body,” said Ryan Karl.

Feds caught with consultative pants down as groyne issue flares up: PSPC urged to get second opinion

MP Stetski said that of local stakeholders “nobody was aware of the project.”

De Groot family still waiting for inquest after 2014 Slocan shooting

Lawyer for Peter De Groot’s family say many questions remain unanswered

Four-year-old girl one of two killed in highway crash near Creston

The 26-year-old driver of a Saturn SUV was also killed

The peak of Pinto

Hikers are rewarded with a spectacular view from the top of Pinto Mountain

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

Most Read