The Steinbach Pistons announced a pair of trades on Friday morning which will add size and grit at both the forward and defence positions.
First, Steinbach announced they picked up Trent Halfdanson from the Winkler Flyers in exchange for Marcel Berube.
The 18-year-old Halfdanson has 2 goals, 2 assists so far this season in 23 games played.
Head coach Paul Dyck is excited about bringing in the 6'2 winger. "Trent plays with an edge, he's a scrappy kid," Dyck said from his office inside the TG Smith Centre. "He plays with toughness. I think he has upside offensively. He showed it at the midget level. He's still a younger player, he's a 2000 but has 70 games experience at the MJHL level. We like his potential for not only this year but the next two years that follow."
The old adage in hockey is you can't teach size and for Halfdanson who's over six feet tall and weighs in right around 170lbs with room to grow, is something that Dyck really liked when considering bringing him to Steinbach. "We like his size. We know he's tough. He has a couple scraps this year and doesn't back down from the physical game. He has a presence. We think it's always nice to add that. But, he can play. He can make plays. His track record shows in Bantam and Midget that he's a guy that can contribute on the scoresheet and we think he can get there."
Heading to Winkler is the 19-year-old Berube who put up 3 goals and 6 assists in 26 games played.
Dyck believes the Flyers will be a good landing spot for the forward. "Marcel will be able to maybe play more of an offensive role. I'm not sure what they have in mind for him but it might be a change of scenery is something he can benefit from. I think he has the ability to show more in that area. Hopefully, it's one of those deals that's a win-win for both clubs."
The Pistons weren't done wheeling and dealing as they also acquired Dough Johnson from the Flin Flon Bombers for future considerations.
Dyck believes Johnson is exactly the type of player on the ice and in the locker room that the Pistons need going forward. "Doug's a big, steady, physical defender who moves pucks. We feel he'll add some maturity and professional approach. He's a real competitive kid that wants to win hockey games. I think the veteran presence will be a welcome addition.
At a hulking 6'2, almost 200 lbs, Johnson has the physical elements to be a force to deal with for Steinbach. "He keeps his game really simple. He may not wow anyone with his offensive prowess but there's a lot of value in simplicity. He plays a lot of minutes, takes care of his own end. For a big guy, he's a gym rat, he's an awfully strong man. He's definitely a presence on the ice. We've looked for that for some time. Veteran defenders don't always show up so it was something we had to look at and act pretty quickly on."
The roster juggling is far from done as the December 1st deadline approaches.
As it stands now, Steinbach has 25 carded roster players. At 6 pm on Saturday, December first, teams are cut down to 25 total cards. Meaning, a couple of roster players will have to go if Dyck and the staff want to get down to the prefered number of around 23 or 22.
If the roster does go down to 22 or 23, they would be allowed to make 2 or 3 player additions (depending on how many players are on the roster after December 1st) before the trade deadline.