Final Trades and Deals – by C. Scott Holland
Some late arriving deals were made in the GOJHL and the LaSalle Vipers were one of the teams doing so as they
have reacquired Belle River native Brett Primeau. The 18-year-old forward was the co-winner of the Vipers 2014-15 Rookie of the Year award, alongside current Vipers leading scorer Manny Silverio. He posted 27 goals and 46 points that season.
“We hope Brett can build off what he did with our hockey club last year,” Viper head coach and general manager Bill Bowler said. “He’s a year older, stronger and more mature.”
The 5’11”, 180 lbs. right winger was selected to the 2014-15 GOJHL Top Prospects Game and has played three games for the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, who selected him in the 8th round of the 2013 OHL Priority Selection.
“Brett has a knack for scoring goals, he’s around the net a lot, and that’s something you’re always looking for on hockey teams,” Bowler says. “He enjoys scoring, he seems to put himself in areas to score goals. Brett knows our team, we know him, and we’re excited that he’s back with the Vipers.”
The Windsor Spitfires recently acquired his OHL playing rights from Kingston. thus making him available to the Spitfires for up to 10 games this season.
“When I got the call saying ‘we’re making another run for it’, it was very exciting,” Primeau says. “I know the guys from last year and we acquired some key guys too, so it’s going to be a lot of fun and very exciting.”
Primeau had previously been playing in the CCHL, a Jr. A hockey league in eastern Ontario, for the Pembroke Lumber Kings. The Vipers reacquired his Jr. B rights from Pembroke.
“That (experience) is going to help me a lot. They were really good leagues, fast paced hockey,” he says. “I’d love to finish strong, get into some games with the Spits and prove to them that I can play at the OHL level, and perhaps with the Vipers go all the way to the finals like we did last year.”
In related moves, the Vipers have released forwards Dalton Langlois and James Brooks to the Essex 73’s and Amherstburg Admirals, of the Great Lakes Jr. C Hockey League, respectively.
Primeau is expected to be in the lineup, wearing jersey number 90, when the Vipers take on the St. Marys Lincolns Wednesday night at the Vollmer Centre.
Meanwhile the Cambridge Winterhawks and Brampton Bombers were active right up until the deadline. Brampton sent third year forward Carmen Vietri to the Kitchener Dutchmen. The 6′ tall 20 year-old is a Mississauga native and had played in 31 games and scored 12 times plus had nine assists.
Also, the Bombers added 19 year-old defenseman Drew Stirling from Cambridge. A Mississuaga, Ont. resident, Stirling, 5′ 9″ a sophomore, has only appeared in 11 contests and collected three assists.
In another move by Brampton they sent Lucas Goodman to the Waterloo Siskins. Goodman is a 19 year-old, 5′ 9″ rookie forward who played in 20 contest and tabbed 16 pts (11 g., 5 a.) plus had 32 penalty minutes.
The Bombers last move was releasing 18 year-old Daniel DiCristofaro who had seen action in only five games.
Cambridge made one roster change as they sent team captain Matt Harding, a 20 year-old to the Ayr Centennials (Jr. C). A veteran GOJHL defenseman of four campaigns, Harding had appeared in 163 games, scored nine goals and assisted on 36 others while amassing 163 penalty minutes.
The St. Thomas Stars were expected to make some moves and did release Ryan Valentini – an OHL player now with Sudbury – from their roster. The Stars also acquired forward Nathan Ferris from Welland. Ferris is a fifth year GOJHL player who has toiled for four different teams. The Brantford, Ont. native had played in 147 career games but only chalked up 22 goals and 20 assists. Twelve of his goals have come on powerplays and he has shown his tenacity by taking 375 penalty minutes. This season with Welland he has notched 11 of his goals with seven coming with the man advantage and he has added eight helpers.
The Strathroy Rockets finally officially released forward Matt McGhee. The 17-year-old London native played his last game for the Rockets on November 6 in St. Marys. He stepped away to play high school hockey and concentrate his efforts on a golf scholarship.
The GOJHL and the teams involved wish these players all the best as their hockey careers continue.