Former Alberni Valley Bulldogs captain Jordan Sandhu (far left) has been traded following two seasons with the Bulldogs. FILE PHOTO

Alberni Valley Bulldogs part ways with former captain

‘Dogs acquire veteran Luke Gingras, future considerations in return

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have traded former captain Jordan Sandhu in return for the acquisition of 1998-born forward Luke Gingras and future considerations from the Vernon Vipers.

Gingras is a veteran of three seasons with the Western Hockey League’s Saskatoon Blades. He scored six goals while totalling 13 points and 132 penalty minutes in 109 WHL games before joining the Vipers midway through the 2016/17 season. In Vernon, the Langley, B.C. product picked up 10 points in 21 regular season games and one goal in 12 playoff contests.

“We’re excited to add a player of Luke’s character and experience,” said Bulldogs head coach Matt Hughes. “He brings size and toughness to our roster along with some untapped offensive potential that we’re confident will benefit our group.”

In return, the Bulldogs have sent the 1999-born forward Sandhu to Vernon following two seasons with the Bulldogs. The 18-year-old contributed 30 points last season after being named team captain in September and is committed to Arizona State University for the 2018/19 season.

Hughes said that the move came after Sandhu requested a trade.

“We mutually agreed to something,” Hughes said. “We wanted to do what was best for him, and we wanted to do what was best for the team.”

Hughes added, “He was a great kid. I hope it works out for him. I’d like to thank Jordan for all his efforts in Alberni Valley and wish him success moving forward in his hockey career.”

The new-look Bulldogs will begin their main training camp on Monday, August 21 at Weyerhaeuser Arena. The Bulldogs have hired a new assistant coach and head trainer, but Hughes declined to provide their names until more details are finalized.

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs announced on Tuesday, June 27 the acquisition of 1997-born forward Cole Poliziani from the Chilliwack Chiefs in return for future considerations.

Poliziani recently concluded a successful rookie season in Chilliwack, where he helped the Chiefs reach Game 7 of the BCHL Finals as well as the championship game of the Western Canada Cup. The Burlington, ON product appeared in 52 regular season games, scoring 14 goals and totaling 27 points and 37 penalty minutes. He also dressed in all 23 of the Chiefs’ postseason games during their run to the 2017 Fred Page Cup finals, adding two goals and three assists, and suited up six more times during the WCC in Penticton.

“Cole is a talented young man who plays hard and has a natural enthusiasm for the game,” says Bulldogs head coach Matt Hughes. “He showed during his time in Chilliwack that he can score in bunches, and we anticipate him building on his offensive numbers in Alberni Valley while also being counted on as a positive teammate and leader.”

A 2013 draft pick of the OHL’s Peterborough Petes, Poliziani spent the 2014/15 season with the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Hamilton Red Wings before heading south to play the next two years at the Salisbury School in Salisbury, CT.

“I’m very excited to be traded to the Bulldogs,” says Poliziani, who describes himself as a smaller, skilled forward who can make plays and be counted on defensively. “I can’t wait to start the season and meet my new teammates and coaches, and most importantly the fans.”

Poliziani is looking forward to finishing his junior hockey career in the Alberni Valley and enjoying team and individual success.

“For me personally, my goal is to earn a Division I scholarship and to be able to contribute by putting up good numbers. For the team, my goals are to help bring each guy together as a big family and have it so we’re excited to go and play for each other, day in and day out. I also would love to win games and have a successful season, ultimately making playoffs and putting together a nice run.”

Poliziani will take the ice with his new teammates when the Bulldogs will begin their main training camp on Monday, August 21st at Weyerhaeuser Arena.

SHOWCASE SCHED SET: The BCHL has announced the schedule for the 2017 Bauer BCHL Showcase, which will take place from Sept. 20-24 at the Prospera Centre in Chilliwack. The Bulldogs will face off against a pair of Interior Division opponents, with games slated against the Vernon Vipers at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 21st and the Penticton Vees at 4 p.m. on Friday, September 22nd.