Still waiting to hear if there will be a 2020-21 B.C. Hockey League season — which they could know by the end of this week — the Cowichan Valley Capitals made several moves prior to last week’s trade deadline to ensure they will have enough players on hand if they do end up playing.
The Caps shipped one veteran defenceman home to the Maritimes, where he is guaranteed to play, while adding a handful of other players from the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, which has confirmed that it won’t be playing at all this season.
Clark Webster was the blueliner who left, heading to the Maritime Junior Hockey League’s Summerside Western Capitals, who play just a short drive away from his hometown of Kensington, P.E.I., in exchange for future considerations. Webster had nine assists in 56 games for the Cowichan Capitals last season, and one assist in five playoff games, then had two assists in eight games during exhibition play last fall.
As 20-year-old in his last year of junior eligibility, Webster wanted to go somewhere he would play for certain in case the BCHL doesn’t return to action.
“He should get in a good chunk of games,” Cowichan head coach and general manager Brian Passmore said. “It’s not something you want to do, but under the circumstances it was the best for Clark.”
The Caps added the rights to four more players from the Manitoba league, all in exchange for future considerations. The Caps will only hold their rights for the remainder of the 2020-21 campaign, and they will revert to their MJHL teams on June 1.
“They’re excited to come here,” Passmore said. “They were calling me all weekend to see if I’d heard anything [about the season resuming].”
Joey Moffatt, a 2001-born forward, comes to Cowichan from the Portage Terriers. A product of Portage la Prairie, he has played 163 games for the Terriers over the last three seasons, compiling 70 goals, 87 assists and 91 penalty minutes. The 5-foot-11, 194-pound Moffatt was part of the 2018-19 Terriers team that won the MJHL and Anavet Cup titles, and participated in the RBC Cup.
The Caps also added 2002-born defenceman Kian Calder from the Terriers. Also a native of Portage la Prairie, the 5-foot-10, 192-pound Calder played eight games with the Terriers earlier this season, posting four goals, one assist and 22 penalty minutes. He played the previous three seasons with the U18 AAA Central Plains Capitals, totalling 131 points and 294 penalty minutes in 129 games.
Logan Rands, a 2001-born defenceman, was acquired from the Virden Oil Capitals. Another product of Portage la Prairie, the six-foot, 170-pounder had one goal, seven assists and four penalty minutes in eight games with Virden earlier this season, and had four goals, 39 assists and 56 penalty minutes in 106 games over the previous two seasons.
Rounding out the group is 2000-born bluelinder Layne Toder from the Dauphin Kings. Like the others, the 6-foot, 185-pound Toder has a Portage connection, having played six games with the Terriers to start this season before playing one game with the Kings. Toder split the previous four seasons between the Terriers and the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League. In 68 career MJHL games, he has 11 goals, 25 assists and 69 penalty minutes, and in 164 carrer WHL games, he has five goals, 22 assists and 114 penalty minutes.
The Caps had previously signed 17-year-old forward Simon Pollock, who should be able to help the team well beyond the current season. The 6-foot-1, 174-pound Victoria product played 10 games with the junior B Victoria Cougars earlier this season, posting three goals, three assists and 14 penalty minutes.