It was a week ago today the Vees acquired Brock Balson from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks for Evan Anderson and Mitch Ferguson. Fast-forward seven days later and it’s another veteran coming over to the Vees. Today the Vees nabbed Sean Flanagan from the Silverbacks for Alex Jewell and the rights to Steven Iacobellis.
In a separate transaction, the Vees sent Noah Henry to Powell River for the rights of Iacobellis, who they then packaged with the Jewell to acquire Flanagan. Three teams, four players and lots of buzz.
First off, it’s always tough to see players traded, especially two great kids in Alex and Noah. I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to Noah but did run into Alex and it was tough to say the least. People read the trades on Twitter, blogs and the league website but don’t really realize these are young men, kids that are being moved. The Vees were in a tough spot, wanting to add some experience and skill to their blue-line and the asking price was young talent. Both Alex and Noah will be key pieces for their new teams and will make some noise in the BCHL. Powell River has some injuries on the blue-line and need a puck-carrier and Noah will do a great job on the Sunshine Coast. The Silverbacks are rebuilding and starting to put together a young nucleus. Alex will have every opportunity to be a key player down the middle for Salmon Arm.
Sean Flanagan brings a wealth of experience to the Vees and some offensive upside to the blue-line. This is Flanagan’s fourth season of junior hockey, his second in the BCHL. He was a top-two guy the past two seasons in Salmon Arm, playing in every situation conceivable. He’s no doubt a weapon the Vees could use on their power-play and a puck mover that can create something out of nothing. The coaching staff also wanted to add a veteran presence as this team was only carrying three 92’s before the trade. I can see Flanagan being a very solid two-way defenseman who will make some noise time to time in the offensive end. Flanagan has a pretty good shot from the point as well but his play-making ability will be key for the Vees.
With Troy Stecher and James de Haas returning and the addition of Flanagan, the Vees blue-line can fall back into a comfortable rhythm, as some were taxed with increased minutes and responsibility during the WJAC. Guys like Rob Mann and Bryan Sinz can go back to more of a shutdown role and not be expected to create offense from the back-end. The two’s bread and butter is shutting down the oppositions offense and they will have the chance to do that once again. I see the move helping restore balanced to the Vees blue-line and that can only do good.
I will have Head Coach & GM Fred Harbinson’s comments on the trade on the pre-game show tonight from Merritt. Also Vees Captain Troy Stecher will talk about the trade and the WJAC.