The Victoria Cougars have completed a trade as well as added a player just one week before the January 10 trade deadline.
“We wanted to pick up a top forward and a top defenseman before the deadline,” Cougars’ associate coach Thomas Kala said.
Victoria has acquired 19-year-old forward Kelyn Opel from the Sicamous Eagles of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. In exchange, Sicamous receives cash and future considerations.
Opel had 17 goals and 21 assists in 28 games prior to the trade.
“We were very interested in Kelyn from the time he was playing Major Midget,” Kala said. “He is one of the fastest players I have seen at the Junior B level.”
After playing two seasons for the North Island Silvertips of the British Columbia Major Midget League, Opel leapfrogged all the way to Junior A where he played last year for the now defunct Dawson Creek Rage.
Then shortly thereafter, Victoria signed 17-year-old defenseman Dylan Bowen.
A product of the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy, Bowen began the season for the Salmon Arm Silverbacks of the British Columbia Hockey League where he played 25 games.
“Dylan is a very skilled and offensive defenseman,” Kala said. “We feel that he can come in and excel in our program and make the jump back to Junior A next season.”
Both Opel and Bowen will be in tonight’s lineup versus the Westshore Wolves.