The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have released two-year veteran Tyler Vanuden, one month after naming him team captain.
Vanuden, 20, played in 34 regular-season games and scored 19 points for the Bulldogs. He joined the team in October 2017.
“We’d like to wish Tyler all the best moving forward and thank him for all his efforts on the ice and for representing the team well in the community,” head coach Matt Hughes said in a press release issued late Sunday afternoon.
Vanuden is the fourth Bulldogs’ captain in recent years to leave the team—either by trade or release—after receiving the ‘C’ on his jersey. Ryan Steele was traded in January 2018 ahead of the BCHL trade deadline.
Jordan Sandhu was traded in June 2017 after Matt Hughes joined the team and ahead of the 2017-18 season.
Eric Margo served as team captain for the 2015-16 season. Quinn Syrydiuk was alternate team captain for 71 games in 2015 and 2016, but was one of two veterans traded in October 2016 after the team had an eight-game losing streak early in the season.
Vanuden’s release comes at the same time the Bulldogs completed a trade with Powell River Kings by acquiring the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) playing rights of 1998-born defenceman Ben Raffler in return for future considerations.
Raffler joined Powell River during the 2016-17 campaign and has suited up in 99 regular season and playoff games for the Kings, including 68 last season. He has scored one goal and added 14 assists over the course of his BCHL career.
“We’re excited to welcome Ben to the team,” Hughes said.
“We’ve seen first hand that he’s a steady, smart and physical defender who can match up against top forwards and move the puck effectively. He brings playoff experience and additional veteran leadership to our blueline.”
The Bulldogs split their home games on Thanksgiving weekend, losing 4–3 to Merritt Centennials on Friday, Oct. 5 and beating Trail Smoke Eaters 4–3 in overtime. They play a home-and-home series with Victoria Grizzlies on Friday, Oct. 12 at the Q Centre in Victoria and Saturday, Oct. 13 at Weyerhaeuser Arena at the Alberni Valley Multiplex.