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Bucks make roster tweaks with regular season looming


As initially reported by BCHLNetwork managing editor Brian Wiebe in BCHL Today on November 22, the Cranbrook Bucks have made some recent roster tweaks.

With the regular season on the horizon, teams will begin finalizing their rosters for opening night. Cranbrook had a busy calendar year thus far building its current roster, but there is certainly still work to do.

Although the team hasn’t officially announced these moves as of yet, they have both added and subtracted from the roster. Let’s take a quick look at players that have either recently joined the Bucks, or do not appear to be with the team.

Bucks add a forward and an import defenseman

There has been a pair of recent additions to the Bucks extended training camp roster. One is 2004-born forward Tyson Dyck and the other is 2000-born defenseman Jagger Benson.

Dyck, a product of Abbotsford, BC, joins the Bucks from Burnaby Winter Club’s U18 Prep team. Playing in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League, he was productive as a first-year player on the team last season.

Dyck contributed 21 goals and 19 assists for 40 points in 36 regular season games. He added another goal and two assists in two playoff games last season.

In 2018-19, Dyck registered 25 goals and 29 assists in 30 games for BWC’s U15 Prep team. During the playoffs that season, he added four assists in three games. Dyck also played six games for BWC’s Elite 15s that same year, contributing two goals and three assists.

He scored one goal in three pre-season games with the Bucks.

Benson, from Lynnfield, Massachusetts, has played two games with the Bucks since joining the team from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

While with the Silverbacks, Benson played five games during this year’s extended exhibition season. He recorded zero points and four penalty minutes in his seven total games played.

The 20-year-old defenseman comes to the BC Hockey League from Tilton School of the United States High School Prep League. In two very successful seasons at Tilton, Benson scored 23 goals and added 38 assists for 61 points in 56 games.

Benson is off to play NCAA Division I hockey at the University of Vermont in September 2021 and will offer a veteran presence to the Bucks this upcoming season.

Bucks part ways with Forfellow

In addition to Dyck and Benson joining the team, the Bucks have moved on from 2002-born defenseman Owen Forfellow. The Abbotsford product was the first defenseman, and just the second player, to ever commit to the Bucks.

He played four games with Cranbrook during the extended exhibition season, recording zero points and six penalty minutes.

Forfellow has already signed with the Penticton Vees, meaning he was most likely released by the Bucks. He does have two games of worth of regular season BCHL experience as an affiliate player with the Coquitlam Express last season.

The 18-year-old is being given a fresh start with the Vees, who recently won the Okanagan Cup.

The Bucks are also without three American imports who had previously committed to the team.

2000-born defenseman Connor Sullivan, whose commitment to the Bucks was announced on March 25, has not played for the Bucks yet this season. However, the Plymouth, Massachusetts native is playing with Philadelphia Hockey Club of the National Collegiate Development Conference.

Nicholas Niemo, a 2001-born forward from Middlebury, Vermont, is playing for the Lone Star Brahmas of the North American Hockey League this season. Niemo was a teammate of Bucks goalie Jacob Zacharewicz in the NCDC last year, and his commitment to the Bucks was announced on May 1.

2002-born defenseman Bauer Morrissey from Leesburg, Virginia has also not played for the Bucks this season. The Bucks announced his commitment on April 9, and it does not appear he has played anywhere else yet this year.

With the extended exhibition season coming to an end, there are still decisions to be made. Like the rest of the BCHL, the Bucks will continue preparing for the upcoming regular season, whenever it starts.