Nanaimo Buccaneers defenceman Jake Calverley fires a slapshot during a game last winter at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. Calverley was re-acquired by the Bucs a few days before the VIJHL trade deadline.

Nanaimo Buccaneers defenceman Jake Calverley fires a slapshot during a game last winter at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. Calverley was re-acquired by the Bucs a few days before the VIJHL trade deadline.

Buccaneers make a few changes on deadline day

The Nanaimo Buccaneers like the way they stack up following this week’s VIJHL trade deadline.

The Bucs like the way they stack up following this week’s trade deadline.

The city’s junior B hockey club made a few transactions in the week leading up to Tuesday.

The only move on deadline day was the acquisition of forward Mateo Albinati, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound checking forward from the Campbell River Storm.

The Bucs’ big move came a few days before that, as the club reacquired defenceman Jake Calverley, who was the captain of the Victoria Cougars, in exchange for future considerations. Bucs coach and general manager Dan Lemmon said the addition of Calverley, combined with the return of Coleman Doney from injury, gives his team one of the best defensive corps in the league.

“We’ve really shored up our D,” Lemmon said.

The Buccaneers had two subtractions from the lineup. Danny Pion and Cam Nickerson will both make the jump to out-of-province junior A clubs. Pion joins Manitoba’s Steinbach Pistons, a top-five-ranked club in the CJHL, while Nickerson goes to Saskatchewan’s Battlefords North Stars, a top-10 team.

“Sometimes when you’re a real hot team coming into the deadline, you kind of expect to lose some guys,” Lemmon said. “Both guys have played really well for us, they’ve worked their butts off to get to the next level, so I couldn’t be happier for them.”

Despite the loss of the two front-line forwards, the Bucs GM said his team has the depth to be able to handle that and continue to be a contender.

“Looking around the dressing room, I think we’ve got the horses that we can go for a long playoff run here, so it’s exciting,” Lemmon said. “Things are only going to get faster and harder, so you’ve just got to put your workboots on and get better every day.”

GAME ON … The Bucs host the Campbell River Storm on Thursday (Jan. 12) at 7 p.m. at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo News Bulletin