Cherie Morgan Photography

Bucks deal versatile forward Lowe to Humboldt for veteran goalie Harroch


The BC Hockey League’s Cranbrook Bucks have swung a significant deal with the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

The trade in itself is a one-for-one deal involving a forward and a goalie. Cranbrook sends 2002-born forward Christian Lowe to Humboldt for 2001-born tendy Michael Harroch.

It remains unclear if either of the two Bucks goalies from last season will return for training camp, so Harroch adds some certainty to the position. He is a veteran goalie entering his final season of junior hockey, and will be a big part of Cranbrook’s second BCHL campaign.

Harroch spent the last two seasons in Humboldt, although the SJHL did not play in 2020-21 due to COVID-19. Back in 2019-20, he played in 21 games for the Broncos.

Harroch sported a 7-7-5 record that season with a 3.08 goals-against-average, a .906 save percentage, and one shutout during his last full season. In Jan. 2020, he earned a SJHL goaltender of the week honour.

The product of North Vancouver, BC joined the Broncos after developing on the West Coast. Before heading to Humboldt, Harroch spent two seasons with the Vancouver NE Chiefs of the BC U18 AAA League. As a fun fact about the trade, Harroch and Lowe were teammates with the Chiefs from 2017-19.

Preceding his time with the Chiefs was a tenure with Burnaby Winter Club in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League. In 2016-17, Harroch’s BWC team won the CSSHL U16 championship, and he was named to the all-academic team.

In acquiring Harroch, the Bucks add an intelligent, experienced goaltender — but at what cost?

The hardest working Cranbrook Buck

Despite adding the 20-year-old goalie, the Bucks were forced to part with a significant piece of their inaugural season roster.

Lowe, a 19-year-old forward from Port Moody, BC, may not have been one to consistently put up points. He was, however, the hardest working player on the ice every night.

His value to the team was measured not by numbers, but by the intangible deeds accomplished throughout each game. From taking faceoffs to killing penalties, Lowe played in all situations, and was noticeably effective doing it. Speaking of noticeable, good luck finding a faster player than Lowe to burn up and down the ice.

Lowe gave an honest effort every night and was able to chip in offensively on occasion as well. He scored one goal and added two assists in 14 games with the Bucks last season. Lowe also reached a Bucks franchise milestone when he became the first player to score a shootout goal for the expansion club.

Including his time as an affiliate player with the Coquitlam Express in 2019-20, Lowe totaled two goals and seven points in 19 contests in the BCHL. He made it to the league due to his hard work, and that’s certainly what he will be remembered for as he heads to the SJHL.

While Lowe will be missed by the Bucks, trading him for a veteran goaltender was a move made possible by virtue of forward depth. Of the 13 forwards on the Bucks 2020-21 roster, 11 are eligible to return.

The two spots vacated by graduating forwards have already been filled by incoming players Kellan Hjartarson and Andrew King. From a position of strength, the Bucks ultimately decided to part ways with a valuable forward to stabilize their goaltending for 2021-22.