Massimo Rizzo (Penticton Vees, BCHL), middle, tries to out-maneuver two Team Canada East players during a preliminary game at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge. Team Canada West won the all-Canadian matchup 6-1.Photo courtesy of Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada Images

Chilliwack Chiefs acquire Massimo Rizzo from Coquitlam Express

Chiefs hockey boss Brian Maloney has high expectations this season, and this trade is a sign of that

The Chilliwack Chiefs have added a major piece to the offence, acquiring BCHL veteran Massimo Rizzo from the Coquitlam Express.

The Chiefs sent forward Arlo Merritt and future considerations to their Mainland division rival Monday, securing the services of an established point-per-game player.

Last season, Rizzo totalled 19 goals and 44 points in 42 games in Coquitlam. He is well known in hockey circles for his elite IQ and skill level.

This will be Rizzo’s fourth full season in the BCHL.

The 19 year old debuted with Penticton during the 2016-17 season and spent two more campaigns with the Vees before being moved to Coquitlam. Drafted in the seventh round of the 2019 National Hockey League entry draft by the Carolina Hurricanes, Rizzo captained the Vees during the 2018-19 season.

READ MORE: BCHL players help Team Canada in shootout win over U.S.

READ MORE: BCHLers on NHL Central Scouting players to watch list

Chilliwack hockey boss Brian Maloney is very familiar with Rizzo, having coached against him and having coached the teenager with Team Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge.

Maloney said the high cost he paid would have only made sense for a player of this calibre.

“Anytime you look to acquire a player like Massimo, you always have to make hard decisions,” he said. “Ultimately we made a decision that we feel will help our program deliver another championship to our fans and the City of Chilliwack.

“We expect Massimo to report to Chilliwack in short order, we will work quickly to acclimate him with our systems and begin creating chemistry with his new teammates.”

The Chiefs will face Rizzo’s now-former team this weekend when the team plays its first road game of the extended training camp preseason on Sunday.


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eric.welsh@theprogress.com

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