Brian Maloney believes his Chilliwack Chiefs have a chance to go on a deep playoff run this season, and his roster moves reflect that faith.
The boss of the junior A hockey club completed a trade Thursday, acquiring a 20-year-old forward who should help with the postseason push.
Wyatt Schlaht comes over from the Surrey Eagles in a rare inter-divisional deal.
Future considerations go the other way.
“He’s a big power forward who brings a little more experience and makes us harder to play against,” Maloney said. “We have a good amount of skill and quickness here, and Wyatt adds a big body. He punished us in the playoffs last year and he fills the void, hopefully, that Kyle Penney left.
“Wyatt’s also a guy who can play up and down the lineup. He can center the fourth line one night and be up on the first line the next night.”
Trades between division rivals are rare, with teams reluctant to trade someone that might come back to haunt them in the future.
“You seldom see that, and you definitely think about facing a kid you traded away when you make a deal,” Maloney acknowledged. “But you also have to think about what’s best for the kid, and Cam (former Chiefs assistant coach, current Surrey head coach) Keith understands that. He coaches for the right reasons at this level, and that’s to move kids along.
“He had a good relationship with Wyatt and wanted to make sure he was going to the right spot, and it’s pretty big of him to do that.”
In 58 regular season games with the Eagles in 2019-20, the Colorado kid collected 10 goals, 23 points and 43 penalty minutes.
Schlaht posted one goal and five points in seven first-round playoff games against Chilliwack.
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