Seen here playing in one of his three games with the Capitals last season, defenceman Boo Grist has committed to join the club full-time for 2017-18. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Seen here playing in one of his three games with the Capitals last season, defenceman Boo Grist has committed to join the club full-time for 2017-18. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Caps’ newest recruits include Shawnigan defenceman Grist

Blueliner played three games for Cowichan as AP

Along with Lake Cowichan’s own Caleb Franklin, who signed on the team earlier this month, the junior A Cowichan Valley Capitals have added several other players to their list of commitments for the 2017-18 B.C. Hockey League season.

From the group of recent signings, the most significant name for local hockey fans will be that of defenceman Ben (Boo) Grist, who played the last two seasons with Shawnigan Lake School’s prep team, serving as captain last year, and got into three games with the Caps as an affiliate in 2016-17.

The five-foot-11, 150-pound Grist, who turned 18 in March, played 56 games for Shawnigan over the last two campaigns, scoring six goals and setting up 20 more. The North Saanich native went without a point in two regular-season games and one playoff contest with the Caps.

“Boo is a solid defender that plays with an edge, defends well, moves the puck very well and makes good decisions with and without the puck,” Capitals head coach and GM Bob Beatty said. “I can see him becoming an anchor on our D corps in short time.”

Also coming on board are fellow blueliners Yuri Davis-Martel and Riley Thorpe.

Davis-Martel hails from Sherbrooke, Quebec, and has spent the last two seasons with the Iowa Wild program in the Tier One Elite Hockey League, playing with the U16 midget major team in 2015-16 and the U18 midget major team in 2016-17. He played 28 games last season, scoring eight goals and assisting on one, while leading the league with 120 penalty minutes.

Beatty calls Davis-Martel a “diamond in the rough,” who impressed the Cowichan coaching staff at the spring camp. Coaches also watched him play in a showcase tournament in Boston.

“Yuri will be an exciting player that has a good shot and will deliver some bone-crunching open-ice hits,” Beatty said. “He is an extremely strong and athletic player that won’t lose many puck or spatial battles.”

Thorpe calls West Kelowna home, but played last season with the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs in the Eastern Hockey League, where he compiled a goal and nine helpers in 39 games. He spent the previous two seasons with the Pursuit of Excellence program in Kelowna, where he played with Capitals forwards Alec Zawatsky in 2014-15 and Ty Pochipinski in 2015-16. He tied for the league lead in scoring among defencemen both those years.

“Riley has a year of junior under his belt,” Beatty commented. “He’s a good skater, physically strong and has good puck skills. We’re excited to add another solid young defenseman to our D corps.”