The Penticton Vees added another piece to their roster Tuesday, as they announced the acquisition of veteran defenseman Chris Rygus in a four team trade. The Vees landed the rugged rear-guard from the Coquitlam Express for future considerations.
Rygus was first dealt from the Fort McMurray Oil Barons to the Victoria Grizzlies for the playing rights of Zach Urban. The Grizzlies then sent Rygus to Coquitlam for goaltender and former Vee Nic Renyard. So Rygus went from Fort Mac to Victoria, to Coquitlam then to Penticton. After the dust settled it’s a trade involving four teams, three players and two leagues. So Rygus’ rights changed hands three times this morning, which eventually sees him land in Penticton.
The Vees aren’t new to these types of trades, as this is the third off-season that I’ve been with the team that a deal like this has been orchestrated. In the summer of 2011, the Vees were part of a three team trade that saw them land goaltender Mike Garteig. Last July the Vees were part of an even bigger trade, that had eight players and six teams involved, which resulted in them acquiring Sam Mellor and Rob Mann.
The Vees were looking to add more grit and “sandpaper” to their line-up this season and Rygus does have those two qualities about him no question. However, he’s more than just a physical presence, as he brings plenty of experience to the Vees blue-line and can move quite well for his size. Rygus has that shutdown ability and will be a force in front of his own net, but can contribute offensively as well. He has a heavy shot and can be a guy to work the blue-line on the power-play. Circling back a bit, the experience factor is what stands out for me. He’s played three seasons of Jr. ‘A’ and has gone deep into the playoffs at every level he’s played at. In Midget, he helped his team to the Telus Cup, the Major Midget National Championship tournament. In Junior, he’s now played in all three regional tournaments and might be the only player to do so. Vees fans will remember him from the 2012 RBC Cup Final in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, as the Vees beat Rygus’ Woostock Slammers 4-3. Rygus will no doubt bring plenty of experience to the Vees and likely be a veteran that the younger players will be able to lean on for advice.