The Steinbach Pistons General Manager Paul Dyck’s phone is taking a rest this week after fielding calls from teams, coaches and players from across North America in anticipation of the MJHL trade deadline this past Sunday.
It was a busy week full of ups and downs as players anxiously awaited the news they were going to be a part of the team’s pursuit for a second MJHL championship.
One of the biggest acquisitions has been the addition of 20 year-old defenseman Anthony Kapelke from the Humboldt Broncos of the SJHL in exchange for future consideration. Kapelke wore the ‘C’ for the Broncos this past season.
The Edmonton, Alberta product has played 183 Junior ‘A’ games split between the Drayton Valley Thunder, Sherwood Park Crusaders and the majority of his time with Humboldt. He has accumulated 12 goals and 32 assists along with 308 penalty minutes in junior.
Kopelke comes to Steinbach on the tail end of a lower body injury that has seen him out of the lineup since the middle of November. He is close to returning to the ice, but will spend the first couple of weeks watching his new team from the stands.
The Pistons also acquired 20 year-old defenseman Michael Winnitoy from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks of the BCHL for future considerations and then flipped him to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs of the BCHL for future considerations.
The trade deadline brings in fresh new faces, but also means the team has to say goodbye to others and 20 year-old defenseman Joe Carney was one of those. The big d-man from the United States was sent to the Dryden Ice Dogs for future considerations. The Steinbach Pistons wish Carney success as he pursues success with his new team.
One of the unexpected surprises came a few days leading up to the deadline when word came in that the Pistons would be retaining the rights of 20 year-old forward Quintin Lisoway.
Both Lisoway and Kopelke bring hundreds of games of junior experience to the Pistons lineup that is looking to bring the Turnbull Trophy back to downtown Steinbach this spring.
Picture Above: Anthony Kapelke playing for the Humboldt Broncos