Tim Ruhnke – Recorder & Times
The Brockville Braves have added some height to their blue line.
The Jr. A team has acquired defenceman Benjamin Dirven from the Cornwall Colts. In return, Brockville sent Christophe Cote, Emerick Nadeau and Jackson Hay to Cornwall.
Dirven, 18, scored nine goals and picked up 16 assists as well as a total of 48 penalty minutes in 58 games with the Colts last season. He also had nine points and 34 penalty minutes in 50 games with Cornwall in 2017-2018. The Bainsville native is listed at 6’2″ and 183 lbs.
“Dirven fits in nicely with our plan to get bigger and stronger on the back end,” Braves GM Dustin Traylen stated in an email on Friday.
The GM added that Dirven is an on-ice leader who plays well in all situations.
“Thrilled to have him in a Braves uniform,” Traylen said.
Cote played with the Braves for two seasons. The 20-year-old left winger scored nine goals and added 16 assists in 85 regular season games between 2017 and 2019.
Traylen referred to Cote as “a great leader” in the dressing room and on the ice. “He will be missed, but to make a trade, both parties have to give something up to get something,” the Brockville GM commented.
The trade came as a surprise to Cote, who indicated in an interview that he had finished the season “really strong” and believed he was “a big part of the team” and that the team had plans for him in the coming season.
After the Braves’ recent camp in Kemptville with new head coach Randy Jones, Brockville was in the market for a big-impact defenceman. Cornwall had reportedly watched Cote in the playoffs and liked what they saw. As a result, the Colts wanted him as part of a deal for Dirven.
“At the end of the day, it’s a business,” remarked Cote, who noted that his teammates and billets in Brockville were “awesome” and that he will always have a special relationship with the community where he started playing junior hockey. The players were very tight-knit, which Cote said helped take the team to the semi-finals both years.
“We had good runs,” he stated.
Nadeau, 17, was acquired by Brockville in 2018. The winger had 11 goals and seven assists in 53 regular season games, including a hat trick against Nepean in January. The Braves named Nadeau their Rookie of the Year for 2018-2019.
“‘Nads’ will be a tremendous asset moving forward for Cornwall, as we gave up some young skill,” Traylen stated.
Nadeau and Cote each had four points in nine playoff games with the Braves this spring.
Hay, 17, is a defenceman who played 13 games for the Tikis and 16 regular season games for the Braves last year. The Braves had a logjam on the right side of the back end, according to Traylen. The club decided it would be best to move him to a team on which he could play more, the Brockville GM added.
“Jackson will be a top four defenceman before long,” Traylen said.
Hay is from Kingston; Cote and Nadeau hail from the Montreal area.
The Braves first announced the transaction on Twitter Wednesday.
Brockville opens the 2019-2020 season on Sept. 6. The first game against Cornwall will be played at the Brockville Memorial Centre on Sept. 20.
Cote said he was already aware of the date. He is looking forward to seeing his friends on the ice and having a big game.
“I’m going to prove them wrong… and let them know they shouldn’t have traded me,” Cote proclaimed.
Jones’ predecessor, Ottawa Senators alumnus Jesse Winchester, is now a development coach with the NHL club. Cote thanked Winchester for all of his help on and off the ice and for showing him “how to think about the game.”
Original Story at Recorder.ca