The Penticton Vees have swung a deal with the Olds Grizzlys of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL). The Vees have acquired 19-year-old forward Chris Gerrie in exchange for 18-year-old Defenseman Jarod Hilderman. Gerrie led the Grizzlys in scoring this past season and was the 2013-2014 AJHL Rookie of the Year and CJHL Co-Rookie of the Year. Gerrie will bring a top-six scoring presence, something the Vees were looking to replace this off-season after graduating all but three forwards from last year. Gerrie is a Mich Tech commitment, as the Vees now have three future Huskies on their roster (Hannoun and Newsome the other two).
Hilderman just finished his second year with the Vees and as the saying goes in hockey, to get something good, you have to give up something good. The 18-year-old played in 96 career games for the Vees and another 43 playoff games. Hilderman still has two-years of eligibility left in junior hockey and is committed to Minnesota-Duluth, and is bringing RBC Cup experience with him to Olds.
Dana Lattery, the Grizzlys Head Coach, spoke to their local radio station about today’s trade and you can find the audio here.
Chris Gerrie: ’96 Forward / 5’10 – 170 / Red Deer, Alberta / Michigan Tech
Gerrie was a reffered to as a “star” player for the Grizzlies and it’s hard to argue with that label. Gerrie led the Grizzlies in regular season scoring, with 25 goals and 61 points in 59 games; no sophomore slump. He’s two seasons removed from his AJHL Rookie of the Year and CJHL Co-Rookie of the Year awards, after scoring 18 goals and compiling 54 points in 60 games. He’s basically been a point per-game player in the AJHL, picking up 115 points (43 goals) in 119 career games. He’ll likely slot into the Vees top-six, playing on the wing and he’ll definitely be a guy looked upon to help lead the offense come the fall.
Jarod Hilderman: ’97 Defenseman / 6’1 – 210 / Kamsack, Saskatchewan / Minnesota-Duluth
Hilderman, played two seasons in Vees blue after coming to the team from Notre Dame College in Saskatchewan. Hilderman broke into the BCHL as a 16-year-old two seasons ago, collecting eight points in 45 regular season games while patrolling the blue-line; he had another three points in 11 playoff games. This season,he had six assists in 49 regular season games. In the post-season, he scored once and finished with seven points in 32 games, helping the Vees capture the Fred Page Cup and Western Canada Cup. Hilderman also played on Team West at the CJHL Top Prospects game in January.
In that interview, Olds Head Coach Dana Lattery noted the Grizzlys are turning over a lot of their roster and will have a “very young” group on the blue-line and welcomes Hilderman’s size and experience; a good spot for Hilderman to get more reps in and continue to develop.
I remember first seeing Hilderman, as this baby-faced, brash, defenseman wearing a bright red helmet at Vees Spring Camp in May of 2013. He turned heads at the camp, earned a spot on the Vees team out of Main Camp and now leaves as a BCHL Fred Page Cup and Western Canada Cup champion; not bad for a kid who jumped from Bantam AA to the Vees.”Hildy” has a ton of potential that he still hasn’t tapped into and maybe the change of scenery will help him elevate his game to the next level; all the best bud.