Between a two-week layoff to switch cohorts and the pandemic-related postponement of a pair of games this month, the Cowichan Valley Capitals haven’t played a hockey game since Oct. 24, but they haven’t been entirely inactive during that time.
Aside from practices and other training, the Caps saw defenceman Cullen Ferguson commit to a college program, and added a pair of players from the idle Western Hockey League to their roster.
The 19-year-old Ferguson signed on to play for the Div. 1 Union College Dutchmen in Schenectady, New York once his junior career wraps up.
“Words can’t explain how happy I am to be a part of the Union family,” the Binbrook, Ont. product said. “My family, friends, coaches, and teammates over the years are the reason I’ve gotten to this point in my hockey career and I couldn’t be more grateful for them.”
Ferguson had a goal and 12 assists in 56 games last season, his first in the BCHL, and leads all Cowichan blueliners so far in 2020-21 extended training camp play with two goals and five assists in eight contests.
Ferguson isn’t the only player from the Caps’ current roster to commit to a Div. 1 school. Tom Richter has also inked on with Union, while recent additions Ronan Walsh and Eric DeDobbelaer are bound for Vermont and UMass Amherst, respectively.
With interprovincial and international travel currently preventing the WHL from playing, many teams have loaned players to junior A clubs, and the Caps have picked up a pair of B.C.-born skaters who will remain with Cowichan until Dec. 20.
Forward John Little comes to the Caps from the Tri-City Americans. The Parksville product split last season between the Amerks and the Vancouver Giants, tallying a goal and four assists over 52 games. A graduate of Shawnigan Lake School, Little spent the 2018-19 campaign with the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
“John has great speed and has BCHL experience,” Capitals head coach Brian Passmore said. “John can play anywhere in our lineup and contribute offensively. A player with high character.”
Defenceman Aidan De La Gorgendiere is on loan from the Saskatoon Blades. The Abbotsford native played 63 games for the Blades last season, finishing eighth on the club with 28 points, including four goals.
“Aidan is smart, quick and sees the ice really well,” Passmore said. “He is very competitive and is a really nice addition to our defensive core.”
The Caps were scheduled to play the Powell River Kings in Duncan on Nov. 8 and in Powell River on Nov. 14, but those games were postponed due to the COVID-19 surge in the Lower Mainland. They are now set to host the Kings this Saturday at 6 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. and next Wednesday at 2 p.m.