The Creston Valley Thunder Cats have made a number of player transactions from before Christmas break up until the trade deadline on Jan. 10.
Most notably, local product and team captain Vin Jackson was sent to the Revelstoke Grizzlies, Tyler Badger to his hometown of Osoyoos, B.C., and Brendan Lloyd to play at home in Calgary.
In Badger, the Thunder Cats give up one of their best two-way forwards, a gritty and aggressive player that sees the ice well.
“These moves were made both out of necessity (trade requests) and to improve our room dynamic,” said head coach Bill Rotheisler. “Badger is a great player, and his time as a Thunder Cat is greatly appreciated. It was simply time to go different directions.”
Multiple assets were moved in, including forward Luke Chakrabarti to address one of the immediate needs of the Thunder Cats regarding increased offense, which prior to the trade had hit a stalemate.
“It’s never easy getting traded,” said Chakrabarti, who hails from South Surrey, B.C. “You have 12 hours to pack up and hit the road. That said, [Rotheisler] seems super excited to have me and that’s an excitement I can reciprocate.”
He is a graduate of the Canadian Sport School Hockey League spending time with Delta Hockey Academy, West Van Academy, and lastly St. Georges Academy where he spent the past two seasons at the Prep level, including as a 16-year-old being second in scoring on the team. At the beginning of the season, he was signed to the British Columbia Hockey League’s Surrey Eagles and then signed with Osoyoos after being released to continue to develop his game.
“Chakrabarti fits the role we were looking for and immediately provides the boost and vision on the power play,” said Rotheisler
Stavros Koutsantonis, from Kelowna, B.C., also joined the team after the holiday break, acquired from the Revelstoke Grizzlies. He spent time prior to Revelstoke in the Okanagan Rockets Major Midget program and won a championship with the U17 Rockets in 2019.
“Stavros is a smart player who excels in his (own end of the ice) and is a great guy for our room,” said Rotheisler. “His underlying analytics are exceptionally strong, and he has a consistent history of being on winning and championship teams.”
Recap of Deadline Week Transactions (immediate roster impact only):
IN - G – Liam Stevens (SJHL/MJHL), F – Blake Anderson (USPHL)
OUT - D – Carter Berg (Grande Prairie, NWJHL), F – Tanner Funk (Princeton, KIJHL), G – Tanner Johnson (Comox Valley, VIJHL)
Recap of December Transactions (immediate roster impact only):
IN - F – Luke Chakrabarti (Osoyoos, KIJHL), F – Stavros Koutsantonis (Revelstoke, KIJHL), G – Tanner Johnson (Osoyoos, KIJHL)
OUT - F – Vin Jackson (Revelstoke, KIJHL), F – Tyler Badger (Osoyoos, KIJHL), G – Brendan Lloyd
- With files from KIJHL