After stumbling through the Central Division, the Vancouver Giants find themselves out of the CHL Top 10 for the first time in this ’18-’19 season. The Giants went 2-4-0-0 on the trip with matching 6-0 victories in the first and last games of the trip against Red Deer and Kootenay respectively.
Bowen Byram led the team in points on the trip with a goal and five assists in the six games and 16-year-old Justin Sourdif led the way for the forwards with three goals and two assists. David Tendeck and Trent Miner both earned a shutout each.
The Giants made a few minor moves leading up to the January 10th trade deadline, here’s a recap (transactions between Jan. 1-10):
Additions: ’00 Seth Bafaro from Saskatoon, ’99 Jadon Joseph from Regina, ’98 Dallas Hines from Kootenay and ’01 Nic Draffin from Red Deer.
(Newly acquired #14 Jadon Joseph has two points in two games as a Giant.)
Subtractions: ’00 Cyle McNabb to Kootenay, a 2021 fifth round pick to Saskatoon, a 2019 second round and 2020 sixth round picks to Regina, a 2021 seventh round pick to Red Deer. Vancouver also released ’00 defenceman Ty Ettinger to a Junior A team that is still to be determined, also reassigning ’01 defenceman Parker Hendren to his midget team, the Regina Pat Canadians of the SMHL. After appearing in parts of six seasons with Vancouver and 168 games, 20-year-old defenceman Matt Barberis was placed on waivers and subsequently claimed by the division rival Kelowna Rockets. The move brought the Giants down to the maximum allowed three overage spots with Dallas Hines having just been acquired from Kootenay. The 2013 first round selection, 20th overall in the WHL Bantam Draft has struggled to stay healthy in his WHL career, never appearing in more than 56 games in one season. He has appeared in nine games this season collecting a goal and two assists.
Saturday night will be the Giants’ first game at the Langley Events Centre since December 16th where they defeated Prince George 2-1. The G-Men (24-12-2-0) take on the division rival Kamloops Blazers (15-21-2-1) for the third time this season, with Vancouver winning both. These two teams are somewhat looking to get back on track, both with losing records in their last 10 games (KAM 3-7-0-0, VAN 4-6-0-0). The Blazers will be without forward Jeff Faith (five games) and defenceman Joonas Sillanpaa (one game) who are both serving suspensions.
The Giants have a five point lead over the second place Victoria Royals in the BC Division, but have the Royals catching up to them, having evened out the once substantial difference in games played and having gone 8-2-0-0 in their last ten games. Victoria will travel to Vancouver on Sunday for an afternoon match up at the LEC.
Players to Watch
Zane Franklin leads the Blazers in points with 41 (20G, 21A) in 39 games, the 19-year-old is in his first season with the Blazers after being acquired from Lethbridge this past summer.
Giants fans will be seeing newly acquired Jadon Joseph, Seth Bafaro and Dallas Hines for the first time as all three will be making their home debuts since being acquired in three separate deals during the Central Division trip.
Joseph made waves around the league for scoring this incredible through-the-legs goal for his first as a Giant:
— The WHL (@TheWHL) January 11, 2019