Alberni Valley Bulldogs forward Mirko Buttazzoni battles with a pair of Coquitlam Express players for the puck during a game on Dec. 11, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Alberni Valley Bulldogs forward Mirko Buttazzoni battles with a pair of Coquitlam Express players for the puck during a game on Dec. 11, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs acquire veteran forward in trade with Express

In exchange, the Bulldogs have traded rookie forward Mirko Buttazzoni

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have acquired a veteran forward from the Coquitlam Express in exchange for rookie forward Mirko Buttazzoni and future considerations.

Arlo Merritt is a 20-year-old power forward who brings size and experience to the Bulldogs lineup, says head coach Joe Martin. The 6’3” and 205-pound Merritt was named the Coquitlam Express captain for the 2021-2022 season. In 25 games this season, Merritt has 12 goals and eight assists for 20 points.

“Acquiring an experienced leader like Arlo is very good for our group,” said Martin. “We believe he can play in every situation and fits our team culture.”

In exchange, the Bulldogs have traded Mirko Buttazzoni. The rookie forward, just 17 years old, impressed this season with the Bulldogs and earned a scholarship to Clarkson University. Buttazzoni has seven goals and seven assists in 24 games, and the move sends him closer to home on the Lower Mainland.

Mirko’s younger brother, Diego, has also played several games for the Bulldogs as an affiliate player.

Merritt will join his new teammates on Jan. 6, 2022 and will be in the lineup on Saturday night (Jan. 8) when the Bulldogs host the Nanaimo Clippers at 7 p.m.

Alberni Valley BulldogsBCHL