The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been busy over the offseason.
On Monday, June 18, the Bulldogs announced that they had completed a trade with the Alberni Junior Hockey League’s Drayton Valley Thunder, acquiring the playing rights to defenceman Marcus Walter in return for forwards James Orban and Bradley Ong.
“This was a difficult deal to make because James and Bradley are both talented players and great people,” said head coach Matt Hughes in a release. “Ultimately it was a case of having to give up good players to acquire a good player, but we’d like to thank them both for their efforts on the ice and for representing the team so well in the community.”
Walter spent the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons with the Drayton Valley Thunder, dressing in 100 regular season games as a 16- and 17-year old. His most recent campaign with the Thunder included six goals, 12 assists and 47 penalty minutes in 59 regular season games. Hughes said Walter is expected to bring size, physicality, puck-moving ability and poise to the Bulldogs’ blueline.
“One of our goals heading into the offseason was to find a veteran defenceman who would make us bigger and harder to play against in our own zone, and Marcus certainly does that,” said Hughes. “He’s also an excellent two-way player who makes a good first pass and will contribute offensively. We’re very excited to add a young man of his caliber to our group of defencemen.”
Walter will join the Bulldogs at training camp on Monday, August 20. He will join some of the other recent Bulldogs’ acquisitions, including skilled forward Mitch Deelstra from the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Listowel Cyclones.
Other new commitments for the Bulldogs include smooth-skating defenceman Hayden Hurst, North Island Silvertips forward Ethan Jones, former affiliate player Stephen Castagna and Nanaimo goaltender Blake Wood.