TIMMINS - There is no I in team and there won’t be any Bs — as in Killer Bs — in Rock for the 2015-16 NOJHL season following a trade with the Cobourg Cougars of the Ontario Junior Hockey League.
The Daily Press has confirmed that the Timmins Rock have traded the remaining two members of their Killer Bs line — centre Brenden Locke (regular season: 46, 41-40-81, 21; playoffs: 6, 7-4-11, 2) and left winger Brennan Roy (regular season: 51, 29-42-71, 75; playoffs: 6, 4-5-9, 4) — to the Cougars.
“Brenden’s father moved away (from Iroquois Falls) and Brenden decided to leave and live with his father (in Cobourg),” said Rock coach and general manager Paul Gagne.
“He wanted to continue playing somewhere, obviously, and Brennan (also an Iroquois Falls native) was in a similar situation. He is going to college and the courses that he wanted to take were not available through Northern College.”
While Rock fans might expect trading the team’s two top offensive weapons might yield a boatload of talent, Gagne said it was “strictly a cash transaction.”
“They are two local kids and we want them to succeed,” he said.
“I know the coach there and he is a great guy. He will take care of them and they will be in good hands with Curtis Hodgins.”
Brady Clouthier (regular season: 46, 41-52-93, 77; playoffs: 6, 2-8-10, 6), the third member of the line named for the first initial of its three members, completed his final year of junior eligibility in 2014-15.
The trio finished one-two-three in scoring for the franchise that played out of the Jus Jordan Arena in Iroquois Falls last season as the Abitibi Eskimos and will move to the McIntyre Arena in Timmins for the 2015-16 campaign.
Replacing the offence that Locke and Roy brought to the team will not be easy, but Gagne is confident the Rock will be able to recruit some offensively gifted athletes.
“Right now, we have been working on our third line but we might have to purchase a couple of players to fill out our Top 6,” he said.
“We will likely need at least three of them.”
The Rock have added 6-4, 175-pound, 18-year-old forward Cole Gilligan to their lineup.
The Craighurst, Ont., native spent time with four different teams — including two NOJHL squads — during the 2014-15 season.
He spent time with the Barrie Colts Midget ‘AAA’ team in the ETAHL, the Blind River Beavers, of the NOJHL, where he played four games without netting any points or spending any time in the sin bin, the Mattawa Blackhawks, of the NOJHL, where he scored one goal in seven games, and the Penetang Kings, of the GMOHL, where he earned an assist and spent two minutes in the penalty box in his only game.
“Gilligan is a big boy, that’s No. 1,” Gagne said.
“He has good hands, he has a long reach, he is an above average skater, meaning when you have a 6-4 player, it looks like they are not moving but this guy here puts in a great effort but he is deceptive, with his long strides. And he has good hockey sense.
“He is going to be a penalty killer, and we are looking at him playing left wing or centre on our third line.
“We would like him to push and put a little pressure on the guys on the second line.
“From what I have been told, he is a coach’s dream. He pays attention to details, he plays within the system and loves to be coached. He is like a sponge and he likes to listen.
“He comes from a good family. We have talked to his family and you could tell he has been well brought up. He has passion for the game and he is a great kid.”
The coach is confident Gilligan will be more comfortable entering his second year of Junior ‘A’ hockey.
“He went in there (Mattawa) being 17 years old and it was a negative experience for him,” Gagne said.
“The owner having problems with the players and what-not and being removed from the league and there were so many players in and out. He did not really enjoy himself. Then going to Blind River, he found things weren’t really any better. He was not happy, so basically he finished his season playing Midget ‘AAA’ back in Barrie.”
The addition of Gilligan gives the Rock six players on their roster for the 2015-16 campaign.
The return of goaltender Logan Ferrington, defencemen Kealey Cummings and Joe Olson and forwards Kyle Levis and Tristen Salesse was confirmed earlier this off season.
Meanwhile in Cochrane, the Crunch have dealt the team’s fourth-leading scorer from the 2014-15 campaign, forward Aviv Milner (regular season: 49, 15-37-52, 32; playoffs: 12, 2-5-7, 5), to the Niagara Falls Jr. Canucks, of the GOJHL.
The Crunch have also confirmed the acquisition of four forwards and two defencemen from western Canada, as well as the inking of a hometown goalie.
Braeden Pearce (48, 11-17-28, 30), an 18-year-old Victoria, B.C., native, has been picked up from Peninsula Panthers, of the VIJHL.
Kaden Hintz, who split the 2014-15 season between the Regina Silver Foxes (6, 3-1-4, 2) and the Pilot Butte Storm (0, 0-0-0, 0), both of the PJHL, comes to the Crunch from the Traveland RV Storm, also of the PJHL.
Hintz is a 19 year old.
Zak Stepaniuk (28, 0-2-2, 99), a 5-11, 185-pound, Surrey, B.C., native, has been picked up from the Delta Ice Hawks, of the PJHL.
Jeran Knorr (regular season: 44, 5-2-7, 17; playoffs: 5, 0-0-0, 0), a 6-1, 185-pound, 17-year-old Kelowna, B.C., native, comes to the Crunch from the Kelowna Chiefs, of the KIJHL.
In addition, the Crunch have added a pair of new defencemen.
Lucas Robinson, an 18-year-old, 6-5, 194-pound blue-liner from Vancouver, B.C., split last season between the Grand Forks Border Bruins (33, 1-9-10, 43), of the KIJHL, and the Comox Valley Glacier Kings (12, 2-5-7, 47), of the VIJHL.
Austin Pultz (49, 1-2-3, 43), a 19-year-old, 6-1, 174-pound, Calgary native, joins the Crunch from the Golden Rockets, of the KIJHL.
The Crunch have also bolstered their goaltending by adding hometown puck stopper Kurtis David (1076, 1, 4.24) who played for the Kapuskasing Flyers, of the GNML, last season.
The 18 year old stands 5-10 and weighs in at 165 pounds.
The Kirkland Lake Gold Miners, who earlier this off season shipped forward Luc Soares to the Carleton Place Canadiens, of the CCHL, had added a trio of players.
Forward Brayden Stortz (regular season: 37, 17-25-42, 71, playoffs: 10, 6-8-14, 10) was picked up from the Welland Jr Canadians, of the GOJHL.
Stortz an 18-year-old, 5-8, 161-pound Welland, Ont., native also spent some time with the Carleton Place Canadians, of the CCHL.
Forward Konner Madsen (regular season: 49, 11-9-20, 36; playoffs: 9, 0-1-1, 10) was acquired from the Castlegar Rebels, of the KIJHL.
Madsen, an 18-year-old Kelowna, B.C., native, stands 5-11 and weighs in at 15 pounds.
Defenceman Andrew Cordssen-David comes to the Gold Miners from Valleyfield Braves, of the LHJQ.
Cordssen-David, a Montreal native, stands 6-4 and weighs in at 225 pounds.
The Powassan Voodoos have traded away a pair of veteran defenders and brought in a goalie who has a solid NOJHL pedigree.
Blue-liners Nicolas Proulx (regular season, 33, 2-19-21, 36; playoffs: 12, 0-12-12, 20) and Jeremy St. Pierre (regular season: 46, 6-12-18, 37; playoffs: 12, 1-0-1, 10) have been shipped to the Pictou County Weeks Crushers, of the MHL.
Coming back from the Crushers is goaltender Joel Horodziejczyk, who was the NOJHL’s 2013-14 MVP while playing for the Thunderbirds and help lead the Soo to a Dudley Hewitt Cup appearance.
Horodziejczyk, a 20-year-old Sudbury native, split the 2014-15 campaign between the Crushers (2.71, .900) and the Pembroke Lumber Kings (2.51, .914), of the CCHL.
The Rayside Balfour Canadians, formerly the Sudbury Nickel Barons, have traded defenceman Sheehan Kirkwood (regular season: 22, 1-8-9, 21; playoffs: 4, 0-1-1, 4) to the Brantford 99ers, of the GOJHL.