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Rock deal Boyce to Whitecourt

The Timmins Rock have traded blue-liner Brendan Boyce, shown here in action during a game against the Rayside-Balfour Canadians at the McIntyre Arena on Nov. 28, to the AJHL’s Whitecourt Wolverines. Boyce was second in scoring among NOJHL blue-liners at the time of the trade and had been named the league’s top D-man in December, after being as runner-up for the award in November. THOMAS PERRY/THE DAILY PRESS

The Timmins Rock have traded 19-year-old blue-liner Brendan Boyce to the Whitecourt Wolverines, of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, in exchange for a player development fee.

Thomas Perry – The Daily Press/Postmedia Network
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Rock general manager Kevin Peever, who pulled the trigger on the deal, noted the AJHL is close to resuming action, while a restart date for the NOJHL remains up in the air with Ontario firmly entrenched in the midst of a lockdown.

“It is an excellent opportunity for Brendan, in terms of getting exposure to university and college scouts, as well,” he said.

Efforts to reach Boyce on Tuesday were unsuccessful, but the blue-liner posted the following message on his Twitter account, “Thank you @TimminsRock for an unbelievable year-and-a-half, wish nothing but the best for the players, coaching staff and organization. Thank you to some of the best fans in the North for always packing the Mac! Can’t wait to get started @WolverinesJrA.”

Boyce (11, 4-8-12, 12), who hails from Courtice, Ont., was second among all NOJHL blue-liners in scoring at the time of the trade, behind only Carson Cox (12, 2-12-14, 9) of the Hearst Lumberjacks.

He had been named the NOJHL’s Defenceman of the Month for December, after receiving honourable mention for the award in November.

In addition, Boyce was named one of the Eastlink 3 Stars of the Week for the first week of the 2020-21 NOJHL regular season.

The 6-2 and 195-pound D-man was in his second season in a Rock uniform, coming off a solid 2019-20 campaign (54, 5-22-27, 43).

Boyce will be joining a Wolverines squad that is one of two undefeated teams in the AJHL’s North Division.

Earlier this month, the Rock dealt D-man Christopher Innes, to the West Division Rayside-Balfour Canadians in exchange for a player development fee.

Following the trade, the Rock now have just six blue-liners — veterans Eric Moreau (12, 2-0-2, 2), Zachary Fortin (12, 1-2-3, 6), Evan Beaudry (12, 1-3-4, 10) and Lucas Branch (8, 0-0-0, 4), as well as rookies Felix Cadieau-Fredette (7, 0-1-1, 0) and Bode Dunford (10, 0-3-3, 6) — on their roster.