The Nanaimo Clippers think they’re better equipped for winter after pulling off a major trade last week.
The team acquired forwards Mike Sones and Dan Correale at the B.C. Hockey League’s December roster freeze in a three-team deal also involving the Trail Smoke Eaters and Grande Prairie Storm. Getting shipped out of Nanaimo was forward Tanner Clarkson and future considerations.
“It gave us some experience, I think, and some enthusiasm from both players…” said Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach and general manager. “Sonesy already had a big effect on our team [last] weekend because of his energy.”
Correale comes to the Clips on injured reserve, but Vandekamp said the 20-year-old vet, a 5-foot-10, 180 pounder from Prince George, is “real close” to a return to the ice.
Sones, a 5-foot-10, 165-pound 19-year-old from Waterdown, Ont. said he’d been hoping to come to the Clippers ever since being traded from the Powell River Kings to the Pembroke Lumber Kings in August.
“I’ve been trying to get to Nanaimo the whole summer,” he said. “It’s a good spot to be in. I’ve heard from players who used to play for [Vandekamp] and say that he’s nothing but a good coach. I want to be a part of that.”
Instead he bounced from Pembroke to Grande Prairie before finding out last week he’d gotten his wish to come to the Clips.
“I’m trying to bring a lot of energy, a lot of grit. I’m trying to score some goals…” said Sones. “I can put the puck in the net but the energy side is where I’m good in. I lay the body and stir things up, be a pest.”
He said playing in his very first game with the Clips, he sensed the team’s potential.
“All it is is hard work and listening to your coaching staff and playing the systems right and coming together as a team,” he said. “We’ve got the guys to do it, we’ve got the coaching staff to do it, so we’ve just got to put it all together.”
GAME ON … The Clippers play the Langley Rivermen tonight (Dec. 9) at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena. The Clips then host the Penticton Vees on Sunday at 3 p.m. at Frank Crane. For a preview of that game, please pick up Saturday’s print issue of the News Bulletin or check back at Clippers Central tomorrow.