Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Spruce Kings Find Offense For Playoff Push

Now that the BCHL Trade Deadline has come and gone I can tell you what the Spruce Kings did on this day; although there was a reasonable expectation as to what would happen, I can say that the Spruce Kings met their objective and were able to fill the vacancies in the roster. As the day started Spruce Kings General Manager, Mike Hawes had an idea of what type of player he was looking for and in the end was quite happy to announce the acquisitions of Jarryd Ten Vaanholt and Zack Rassell to the team.

Through a relatively quiet start to the trade deadline, Hawes stuck to his plan and weighed options and offers and, in his opinion, got the players that take an already good team and make them better. As the Spruce Kings head into the final third of the regular season, it is clear to see that Hawes has his eyes firmly fixed on the post season. In order to get there the Spruce Kings will have a number of key matchups to test their character and fortitude and with a full 21 man roster, the feeling is that the team will rise up to the challenge.

For the Spruce Kings the day started by acquiring Jarryd Ten Vaanholt from the Victoria Grizzlies out of the Coastal Conference of the BCHL. Ten Vaanholt played his first season in the BCHL out of the Interior Division with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks right alongside current scoring leader, Paul De Jersey. From West Vancouver, Ten Vaanholt is a 6' 2" 205lbs twenty year old left handed forward that adds some more size and skill up front. In 38 games he has picked up 41 points (17 goals and 24 assists) to go along with his rookie season record of 22 goals and 28 assists in 58 games.

Before the 6pm inter-league deadline the Spruce Kings had also finalized the deal that brings a 19 year old 6' 1" 192 lbs right handed forward and 3 year vet of the Alberta Junior Hockey League with the Canmore Eagles. Third among team scoring with 30 points (9 goals and 21 assists), Rassell has a AJHL career record of 20 goals and 57 assists in 123 games played.

After the deals were done, I had a chance to sit down with Mike Hawes and ask him about the players and about the game plan heading into the trade deadline.

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As Mike Hawes mentioned, Jarryd Ten Vaanholt is already here at the time of this posting and Zack Rassell is expected to be in later on Wednesday. At the earliest convenience I will sit down and talk to both players about the trade and coming to Prince George and joining the Spruce Kings as they push hard to secure and prepare for a playoff spot.

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