The Cowichan Valley Capitals completed a series of trades last month to get themselves under the B.C. Hockey League’s limit of six 20-year-olds.
The deals came as little surprise as the Caps had an excess of players who would be in their final year of eligibility in the 2016-17 season, and needed to find a way to get under the maximum.
The Caps acquired forward Max Newton and defenceman Nii Noi Tetteh from the Trail Smoke Eaters in exchange for forward Luke Santerno and blueliner Carter Cochrane. They also got forward Darren Hards and defenceman Ryan Jones from the Surrey Eagles for future considerations, and flipped defenceman Mitch Meek to the Penticton Vees for futures, while Connor Russell was sent to the Prince George Spruce Kings to round out the deadline deal that brought Corey Hoffman to the Caps.
Newton, a 1997 forward from Vancouver, played 55 games for Trail last year, compiling 13 goals and 27 assists for 40 points with 53 penalty minutes. In 95 career BCHL games, Newton has 22 goals and 42 assists for 64 points, with 33 penalty minutes.
Tetteh, a 1998 defenceman from Revelstoke, got into 50 games last season, his first full BCHL campaign, scoring one goal and assisting on two more for three points, along with 40 penalty minutes.
“Max is a hard-working centre who put up good numbers last season as a rookie,” Cowichan head coach Bob Beatty said. “He will add strength down the middle and plays both ends of the ice with some edge. Nii Noi is a solid young defenceman with a good all-around game and a nasty side to his game.”
Hards, a 1998 forward from Prince George, played the first 28 games of his BCHL career last season, and finished with eight points on four goals and four assists, as well as 36 penalty minutes.
Jones, a 1998 defenceman from Delta, had one assist and 19 penalty minutes in 12 games with the Eagles, and has 16 career BCHL games under his belt. He also played 43 games with the Western Hockey League’s Vancouver Giants last season, recording three assists, eight penalty minutes and a -3 rating.
“Darren is the type you don’t want to play against but love to have on your team,” Beatty said. “He will be a fan favourite with his ‘play hard’ style.”
Santerno played 109 games with the Caps over two seasons and had 25 goals and 25 assists. Between injuries and a brief stint with the Giants, Cochrane got into just 14 games with the Caps last season, but had three goals, 11 helpers and 27 penalty minutes in that span. Meek played 48 games for the Caps, setting career highs with 26 assists, 31 points and 65 penalty minutes.