Leafs, Rebels pull off blockbuster KIJHL deal

first_img“It was a very difficult decision to give up Dallon but (Castlegar) wanted some leadership back and with Dallon’s experience in the league Castlegar wanted him badly,” Maida explained.“You really have to take a look at making sure a deal is going to work from a hockey point of view both on an off the ice,” Maida added. “To get two quality players like Wellman and Vlanich we had to give up fair value in return.”In Vlanich Nelson gets the Rebels second leading scorer both in the regular season and playoffs.Vlanich, from Trail and also sought out by the Beaver Valley Nitehawks, finished the season with a combined 28 goals in 48 games.Wellman, a native of Calgary, was Castlegar’s third leading scorer during the Rebels KIJHL run to the Cyclone Taylor Cup, finishing with 21 points after coming to the Sunflower City following a late season deal.Who knows if Leonard fits into the Cyclone Taylor season for the Leafs?The Kamloops backstop is pondering his future and may not play his final season, instead focusing on an electrical trade.The deals come less than three weeks before Nelson takes to the ice for training camp beginning August 30 at the NDCC Arena.Maida was still rustling the KIJHL bushes in an effort to bolster the roster even more before the Leafs begin a season that finishes with the Green and White hosting the Cyclone Taylor Cup, April 10-13 at the NDCC Arena.“We’re still negotiating with some teams,” he confessed. The BC Hockey roster deadline is more than six months away but already Leaf head coach Frank Maida has made more deals than Drew Carey on The Price is Right.Maida sent forwards Dallon Stoddart and James Sorrey along with D-man Seth Schmidt to Castlegar in exchange for sniper Jamie Vlanich and forward Travis Wellman.The Kootenay International Hockey League Murdoch Division deal comes on the heels of the Leafs acquiring the rights to netminder James Leonard from the Golden Rockets in exchange for future considerations.“Getting two experienced players (Wellman and Vlanich) who have been to the Cyclone Taylor (tournament) . . . two players I believe who can provide leadership being 20-year-olds, gives us a much deeper roster,” Maida told The Nelson Daily.Maida said the deal came together after he heard the Wellman and Vlanich requested a trade.However, the Nelson GM realized to get quality Nelson had to give up quality in the likes of Sorrey, Schmidt and Stoddart — the latter a Nelson Minor Hockey grad.last_img

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