Invermere goaltender Brody Nelson

KIJHL: Trades brings new faces to Columbia Valley Rockies

There’s been a big turnover on the bench of the Columbia Valley Rockies

There’s been a big turnover on the bench of the Columbia Valley Rockies who have had a tough season so far, earning just 14 points after 30 games.

Earlier in December, the team parted with Ryan Lawson and Doan Smith — two of the team’s top forwards. Smith was sent to the Fernie Ghostriders and and Ryan Lawson was traded to his hometown of Kelowna. In return, the Rockies received Tyler Rebelato and Kale Johnston from Fernie, and Nick Evdokimoff from Kelowna.

“There was an opportunity to move them (Smith and Lawson) forward, potentially help them out; and help our team become younger,” said Rockies general manager Ross Bidinger.

Rebelato is a “puck-moving defenceman with good skill,” Bidinger said.

Johnston, a year younger than Smith, achieved a similar number of points with the Ghostriders last year as Smith scored for the Rockies.

“He fell down on the depth chart in Fernie, where he’ll be a first-liner (on the Rockies),” said Bidinger.

Evdokimoff is “a big kid,” whose size brings solidity to the defensive unit, he added.

Bidinger said the major trades had to happen because the team was missing heart and leadership.

“The culture in dressing room and effort in games needed to change,” he said.

While they managed to find success offensively this season, it was mostly offset by poor defence.

“They’re producing, but not shutting guys down,” said Bidinger.

Another top Rockies performer, Carter Melynk, is expected to move in the near future, Bidinger said.

Also leaving the Rockies are Dondre Watson and Alan MacPherson, who both advanced to Junior A leagues in Alberta.

And hometown goaltender Brody Nelson will be finishing his season with Ryan Lawson in Kelowna.

“Whenever anybody moves ahead, it’s always good,” said Bidinger.

The trades come just before the deadline. Smith and Lawson, who will both be 20 next year, are still eligible to play one final year with the Rockies

Columbia Valley RockiesKIJHL

Just Posted

The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read