The Delta Ice Hawks have swung a pair of trades in an attempt to jumpstart their sputtering attack.
The Pacific Junior Hockey League club sent goaltender Braedy Euerby to the Richmond Sockeyes on Friday for forward Marcus Pantazis — the reigning PJHL rookie-of-the-year. A day later, defenceman Adam Mandau was traded to Port Moody for forward Cameron Luk.
The Hawks were carrying three goalies after the Vancouver Giants re-assigned Euerby to his hometown team three weeks ago.
Hawks GM and head coach Steve Robinson suggested last week the logjam in the crease wasn’t going to last for long, but didn’t say which one of his netminders would potentially be moved.
The Sockeyes had just one goalie on their roster after an injury to Marcus Cumberworth. When Robinson learned Pantazis was available the deal just made too much sense not to make.
The 19-year-old was Richmond’s leading scorer a year ago and has 27 points in 25 games so far this season. However, his role had been diminished in recent weeks. Robinson wasn’t going to move Euerby unless it was the right situation for him.
The 17-year-old from Ladner still gets to play close to home and continue to train with the Giants. More importantly it is the opportunity to play. He made his Richmond debut in Saturday’s 4-2 win in White Rock.
Now Robinson can increase the workload of his number one goaltender Jordy Engelson while Pantazis is going to get every opportunity to thrive as one of the club’s top two centres, likely playing alongside Jordin Kojima.
“It’s mixed feelings for sure regarding Braedy,” said Robinson. “We found him a place to play close to home where he can get way more starts and in doing so satisfy the Giants, Braedy, (Hawks back-up) Hunter (Tarves) and most importantly Jordy. “He is our best player and we really need to get him into a rhythm by giving him more starts.”
The Hawks currently rank ninth in the league in scoring, averaging just three per contest. The addition of Luk from Port Moody should help too. He had seven goals in 24 games with the Panthers.
Delta hosts Aldergrove on Tuesday (7:35 p.m.) in its second annual Teddy Bear Toss Night.