The Vees have settled their crowded blue-line via trade, as they sent Brayden Park (96) to the Surrey Eagles for future considerations. Through training camp and most of the BCHL exhibition schedule, the Vees were carrying eight defenseman and needed to make a move to get down to the BCHL mandated 22-man roster ahead of the Showcase this weekend.
This off-season the coaching staff rebuilt the Vees blue-line, as Park was the only eligible player to return from last year. The staff brought in plenty of talent to battle for seven spots, and it was obvious it was going to come down to a numbers game and one good defenseman was not going make the roster out of camp / exhibition. It was a deep recruiting class with plenty of experienced players coming in from CJHL, NAHL and USHL. The competition for a spot was for the six / seven slot and the team elected to go with younger D-man Jarod Hilderman (16 years-old). The fact is, the team didn’t think it would be fair to have a returnee not get regular playing time and elected to seek out a trade where Brayden could find a spot where he would be an everyday guy.
I thoroughly enjoyed having Brayden on board for the past year, as he is a great kid, humble and soft-spoken and comes from a great family. It’s never easy seeing players move on but it’s part of the business of junior hockey and I’m glad to see Brayden getting a chance to develop in Surrey. The Eagles will be a younger squad after last year’s RBC Cup run and by all accounts Brayden will have every opportunity to be a regular member of their defensive core.
With the trade today, the Vees 22-man roster is now set, as they prepare for the opening weekend of the BCHL season. The Vees will carry two goalies, seven defenseman and thirteen forwards.