Hockey Canada Network |
Broncos Stand Pat at Trade Deadline, Prepare for Road to RBC Cup
January 31, 2012

The trade deadline has come and gone, the three-quarter pole of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League season has passed and the stretch drive has begun for the Humboldt Broncos as they look ahead to hosting the 2012 RBC Cup.

It was a quiet Jan. 10 for Broncos head coach and general manager Dean Brockman, who didn’t make any deals on Deadline Day, sticking with a roster that won 17 games in a row between Nov. 30 and Jan. 21 and took over top spot in the SJHL standings.

But that’s not to say there wasn’t some movement on the Humboldt roster as the deadline approached; on Jan. 7, forward Riley Kieser, the only SJHL player to win gold with Canada West at the 2011 World Junior A Challenge, left the team to join the WHL’s Vancouver Giants.

The Kieser defection, coupled with respect for a roster that has shaken off a 8-8-1-1 start to win 27 of its last 30 games and rise to No. 2 in the latest national Junior A rankings, meant the Broncos’ bench boss would be silent at the trade deadline.

“Throughout the whole process, since the announcement was made that we would host, we always were trying to improve our hockey team on a daily basis,” said Brockman. “We were handcuffed a little when (Kieser) left for a WHL team, providing us with less depth to make further moves. We also wanted to have some loyalty to a team that has worked hard to be where they are now.”

But the lack of deadline deals doesn’t mean Brockman hasn’t made a phone call or two this season. In fact, since the Pembroke Lumber Kings were crowned 2011 national champions on May 8, he has pulled off 17 trades to help shape his roster:

December 17
To Humboldt: Patrick Terriss
To Sherwood Park (AJHL): future considerations

To Humboldt: Colin Dzijacky
To Grande Prairie (AJHL): Patrick Terriss

December 1
To Humboldt: Taylor Duzan
To Kindersley (SJHL): Matt McLeod; future considerations

To Humboldt: Lyndon Soper
To Estevan (SJHL): future considerations

To Neepawa (MJHL): Lyndon Soper – completes Oct. 26 trade

To Humboldt: Mitch Chagnon; future considerations
To Portage (MJHL): Brendon Fornwald

November 28
To Humboldt: future considerations
To Winkler (MJHL): Sam Waterfield

October 26
To Humboldt: Dane Olsen
To St. Albert (SJHL): Jake Rawlins

To Humboldt: John Lawrence
To Neepawa (MJHL): Dane Olsen; future considerations (trade completed Dec. 1)

September 23
To Humboldt: future considerations
To Neepawa (MJHL): Ward Szucki

September 12
To Humboldt: future considerations
To Notre Dame (SJHL): Greg Ferguson

To Humboldt: future considerations
To La Ronge (SJHL): Patrick Tran

August 29
To Humboldt: Andrew Johnston
To Flin Flon (SJHL): Gabe Minville; future considerations

June 30
To Humboldt: future considerations
To Notre Dame (SJHL): Dayton Shaw

May 23
To Humboldt: Mathew Backhouse – completes Jan. 7 trade with Dauphin (MJHL)

May 10
To Humboldt: Ryan Marshall – completes Jan. 7 trade with Swan River (MJHL)

May 9
To Humboldt: Clarke Breitkreuz; Robbie Ciolfi – completes Jan. 8 trade with Yorkton (SJHL)

The trades netted the Broncos four of their top six scorers (Johnston, Ciolfi, Duzan, Marshall), a two-time member of Canada West in Marshall and a player with previous experience playing for an RBC Cup host team in Backhouse, who helped the Dauphin Kings reach the national championship game in 2010.

They would have had even more big-game experience had Breitkreuz, another two-time Canada West member who wore the ‘C’ at the 2010 World Junior A Challenge, not decided to play professionally in Germany this season with EV Duisberg.

Brockman believes his move-making was a large part of the Broncos slow start, but is impressed with how his team has come together.

“Guys don't know what to expect or aren't familiar with what the other guys can do early on,” Brockman told the Regina Leader-Post last week. “I give the players a ton of credit. They found the chemistry in the (dressing) room and on the ice.”

That chemistry is what has led to a run of 23 games without a regulation loss (the Broncos last 60-minute defeat was against Yorkton on Nov. 18), and is what the Broncos hope will lead to the franchise’s third National Junior A Championship come May.

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