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Chilliwack Chiefs make moves in leadup to BCHL trade deadline

The Chiefs brought in USHL forward Michael La Starza and major junior defenceman Ben Feenan

With the BCHL trade deadline one day away, the Chilliwack Chiefs have already added two new players.

The junior A club addressed a need for defensive depth late last week, adding 2004-born blueliner Ben Feenan. The Surrey product comes to Chilliwack from the major junior ranks, where the six-foot and 174 pound D-man spent parts of three seasons with the Western Hockey League’s Tri-City Americans. He collected three assists and six penalty minutes in 22 games with the Amerks this season.

“We are really happy to add Ben to our defense,” said Chiefs associate coach and assistant general manager Brad Rihela. “He is a player who has a lot of experience at the major junior level with a great program, and his steady presence will be a great addition to our group during the back half of the season.”

Prior to his time in Tri-City, Feenan spent two seasons at the Yale Hockey Academy in Abbotsford.

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Chilliwack also added a potentially high-end forward on Friday, acquiring 18-year-old Michael La Starza from the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede in return for future considerations. La Starza spent parts of the last three seasons in the United States-based junior league, splitting his time between the Stampede and Waterloo Black Hawks.

He collected 77 points in 130 USHL games, including a 22-points-in-25-games stretch with Waterloo in 2021-22.

“Opportunities to add a player of Michael’s caliber don’t come around often,” said Chilliwack hockey boss Brian Maloney. “He is going to immediately help our team offensively. We look forward to helping Michael round out his game to continue to prepare for college. This is a really good day for our hockey club.”

La Starza already has an NCAA Div 1 college commitment to Boston University.

To make room for one of the newcomers, Maloney sent 2005-born forward Darius Bachler to the Cowichan Valley Capitals for futures. The Langley product only played nine games with Chilliwack this season, collecting two assists and 18 penalty minutes.


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Eric Welsh

About the Author: Eric Welsh

I joined the Chilliwack Progress in 2007, originally hired as a sports reporter.
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