The Prince George Spruce Kings were among the busiest teams at the BCHL’s trade deadline, picking up four players on deadline day, and going from coast-to-coast to do it.
Forwards Tyler Helfrich (Ft. McMurray, AJHL), Jason Yuel (Winnipeg Saints, MJHL) and Alain Joanette (Bancroft, OPJHL), along with goaltender Jordan White (Quesnel, BCHL) were all picked up on January 10, with the hopes they would make an impact on the road to the 2007 RBC Royal Bank Cup, where the Spruce Kings will be the host team.
If the final 22 games after the deadline were any indication, Spruce Kings head coach/general manager Ed Dempsey definitely scored with his additions.
The Spruce Kings finished the season 15-5-1-1 after the January 10 deadline, including a six-game winning streak immediately following the trades. The run pushed the team into a fight for home-ice advantage in the first round of the BCHL playoffs, although they fell just short of fourth spot, finishing tied with Salmon Arm in points, but dropping to fifth with two less wins.
A CLOSER LOOK
Tyler Helfrich, F
W: 195 lbs.
Hometown: Calgary, AB
How Acquired: Traded from Ft. McMurray (AJHL) to Prince George in exchange for Bobby Hineman and future considerations,
Helfrich has made the biggest splash since arriving in Prince George, averaging almost two points per game – 14G, 15A, 29P – in his fifteen contests with the Spruce Kings. The 19-year-old has been impressive on the powerplay, scoring seven of his 14 goals with the man advantage. Helfrich had 50 points in 42 games with the Oil Barons before the trade.
Alain Joanette, F
W: 165 lbs.
Hometown: Chelmsford, ON
How Acquired: Traded from Bancroft (OPJHL) to Prince George in exchange for future considerations,
Joanette was a more than point-a-game player with the Spruce Kings after coming over from the OPJHL’s Bancroft Hawks, with 28 points (9G, 19A) in as 20 games. The Chelmsford native was leading the Hawks in scoring at the time of the deal, with 49 points in 42 games.
Jordan White, G
W: 170 lbs.
Hometown: Surrey, BC
How Acquired: Traded from Quesnel (BCHL) to Prince George in exchange for future considerations,
Dempsey brought in White as a dependable back-up to number one goaltender Joe Rodwell. The 18-year-old began the season with the Western Hockey League’s Prince George Cougars, where he went 1-5-1 with a 5.05 goals-against-average. He saw action in fifteen games down the stretch with the Spruce Kings, going 8-4-1 with a 3.06 GAA.
Jason Yuel, F
W: 190 lbs.
Hometown: Winnipeg, MB
How Acquired: Traded from Winnipeg (MJHL) to Prince George in exchange for future considerations,
Yuel did not put up the expected big offensive numbers after moving over from the MJHL’s Winnipeg Saints, with just nine points (7G, 2A) in 22 games. But he has been strong on the powerplay, with three of his goals coming on the man advantage. The 20-year-old Yuel had 62 points, including 32 goals, in 46 games with the Saints before the trade.
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