BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs making moves in the offseason

Bulldogs acquire new goaltender, blueliner

Luke Pearson, the runner-up for the OJHL goaltender of the year award, will be heading west to join the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Luke Pearson, the runner-up for the OJHL goaltender of the year award, will be heading west to join the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. SUBMITTED PHOTO

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are making moves during the offseason.

Over the last week, the team has acquired a new goaltender and a blueliner. In return, defenceman Sam Pouliot and Bulldogs’ captain Marcus Walter will be headed the other way.

The Bulldogs announced last week that they completed a trade with the Whitby Fury of the Ontario Junior Hockey League, acquiring the playing rights of goaltender Luke Pearson in return for defenceman Sam Pouliot and future considerations.

Pearson spent two seasons with the Fury, including a breakout campaign last year as a 17-year-old that saw him post 25 wins, a 1.94 goals-against average and .938 save percentage. He was the runner-up for the OJHL’s Goaltender of the Year award and was named to the league’s All-Prospect Team.

“Luke is a very talented goaltender who has proven himself as an excellent NCAA prospect over two seasons at the Junior A level,” said new Bulldogs head coach Joe Martin in a press release.

“We’re very excited to welcome Luke and his family to the Alberni Valley and the Bulldogs organization.”

Pearson describes himself as a calm goaltender who likes to keep everything under control and never give up on a play.

“I’m looking forward to the new competition in the BCHL and meeting all my new teammates,” he said. “I’ve had conversations with the coaching staff and have heard nothing but positive things about the team and the Alberni Valley. I’m also looking forward to leaving my hometown to experience billeting and playing hockey in a different province.”

Headed the other way in the deal is Pouliot, who joined the Bulldogs in an early season trade from the Powell River Kings and registered two assists in 37 regular season games. Martin thanked Pouliot for all his contributions in a Bulldogs uniform and wished him the best moving forward.

On Monday, June 10, the Bulldogs completed a trade with the Notre Dame Hounds of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, acquiring the playing rights of defenceman Tim Gould in return for Marcus Walter and future considerations.

Gould has spent two seasons with the Hounds after breaking into the SJHL with a 31-point season as a 17-year-old. He suited up in 54 regular season games last season, scoring six goals and totalling 29 points. The 19-year-old is a two-time invitee to Team Canada West’s evaluation camp for the World Junior A Challenge and he is committed to attend the University of Maine in the 2020-21 season.

“We’re very happy to be able to add a quality veteran defenceman like Tim to our group,” said Martin. “With 111 games played at the Junior A level, Tim’s transition will be smoother than most, which will allow him to get on the ice and just play. He’s a good decision maker and a good skater who will be able to step right in and help our special teams.”

Gould describes himself as a two-way defender with offensive upside. “I’m very exited to join such a great organization and a group of coaches who I believe can develop my game and take it to the next level,” he said.

Headed the other way is Walter, who is committed to play NCAA Division I hockey at Bentley University this fall. Walter joined the Bulldogs in a trade last summer and made a big impact on the ice and in the dressing room, posting 16 points in 51 regular season games while being named the team’s captain in December.

Pearson and Gould will join their new teammates when the Bulldogs’ 2019 Main Camp opens at the Alberni Valley Multiplex on August 19.