Tim Ruhnke – Recorder & Times
They’re aiming to make a run in the second half of the season.
The Brockville Braves completed a five-player trade with the Carleton Place Canadians on Tuesday. Joining the Braves are veteran forwards Caleb Kean and Ryan Bonfield. In return, the Canadians received forwards Marco Iozzo and Liam Goreski as well as defenceman and now-former Brockville captain Jackson Hay.
Carleton Place has the best power-play success rate in the 12-team CCHL at 24.4 per cent. Brockville is second-last at 11.3 per cent.
Kean, 20, has 14 power-play points this season; Bonfield, also 20, has 10. Their combined total of nine goals matches Brockville’s team total.
Braves GM and co-owner Dustin Traylen believes that the two newest Braves will give Brockville a much-needed offensive spark while the team awaits the return of forwards Luke Tchor and Colin Stacey from injury.
“We’re happy to have them,” Traylen said in an interview.
Even with their special-play woes, the Braves are tied for fifth in the league standings at 20 points. The Canadians are eighth with 15 points. The top eight teams make the CCHL playoffs, which are scheduled to open in March.
“We’re trying to build the pieces to make that happen,” the Brockville GM said.
It had been Hay’s second stint with the Braves. He was traded to Cornwall two years ago and then returned from the Colts this summer. Hay, 19, succeeded graduating player Troy Bowditch as Brockville captain.
“It’s hard to say goodbye to Jackson Hay for a second time,” the Braves GM stated.
The defenceman had four points in 10 games with the Braves this season.
Iozzo, 18, had eight goals and five assists in his 16 games as a centreman with the Braves. Iozzo has “a very bright future,” according to Traylen.
“He’ll score goals at whatever level he’s at. He has a knack for the net.”
Goreski, also 18, had five points in 12 games this season. He played with the Tikis and Braves last year.
Familiarity also factored into Tuesday’s trade. Kean played for Brockville bench boss Randy Jones when the retired NHL defenceman was coaching U18 AAA in Saint John, New Brunswick.
Trayken noted than Kean has been playing the wing but might go back to centre; that will be up to Jones to determine, the GM added.
He also noted that Bonfield, who is from Merrickville, has a great shot and is a scorer.
Both players were in their third season with the Canadians.
The Braves are hoping the boost on offence will give the team an edge in what has been a competitive Jr. A scene this fall.
“The league is very tight this year,” said Traylen, who also indicated the Ottawa Jr. Senators might have jumped ahead of the pack a bit in the first part of the season.
“We’re a couple of moves away from being right there with them,” the Brockville GM commented.
The CCHL trade deadline is in January. Traylen said that he is “generally happy” with the performance of the younger players on the Braves roster so far this season.
“I really like what we have going with the younger guys,” the GM added.
Each team gets future considerations as part of Tuesday’s transaction.
Brockville will host the Smiths Falls Bears on Friday night. Carleton Place takes on Kemptville at the North Grenville Municipal Centre Friday night.
The Braves and Canadians will face off in Carleton Place on Sunday at 3 p.m.
Original Story at Recorder.ca