Bulldogs acquire Desilets from Salmon Arm and welcome Buhr back from college

In the hours leading up to their game in Coquitlam on Dec. 14, the Alberni Valley Bulldogs announced a pair of separate transactions that significantly changed the outlook of their roster.

First, the Bulldogs acquired defender Owen Desilets from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in exchange for a brother duo of forwards in Jules and Raoul Boilard. Alberni Valley also received future considerations in the deal along with the Dartmouth College-committed Desilets.

Then, just a few hours after announcing the trade with Salmon Arm, the Bulldogs revealed that forward Brandon Buhr was returning to the team following a short stint with Clarkson University this year.

Here is a little background on the players involved in the recent transactions and what they bring to the table.

Two forwards for a defender

The trade with Salmon Arm does two things for Alberni Valley. In addition to adding a quality and experienced blue-liner in Desilets, the Bulldogs created room in their forward group for Buhr.

Desilets is a 2004-born product of Airdrie, AB who is in his second BC Hockey League season, playing a total of 52 games with the Silverbacks prior to the trade. Over those past two years, he chipped in offensively with two goals and 12 assists for 14 points.

Prior to joining Salmon Arm as a 17-year-old, Desilets spent two seasons playing U18 AAA with the Airdrie CFR Bisons of the Alberta Elite Hockey League. He produced six goals and 11 assists for 17 points in 37 contests over those two campaigns.

Packaging the Boilard brothers — from Sherbrooke, QC — cost the Bulldogs a couple of young players with plenty of potential to produce offense.

Jules is an 18-year-old in his first BCHL season, tallying a goal and three assists in 22 games with Alberni Valley. He spent last season playing U18 AAA with the Magog Cantonniers, scoring 12 goals and adding 18 helpers for 30 points in 33 contests.

Raoul, 16, also spent last year with the U18 AAA Cantonniers, notching 17 goals, 27 assists, and 44 points in 39 games played. He totalled six goals and eight assists for 14 points in 23 contests with the Bulldogs this season.

Buhr returns from Clarkson

After nine games of NCAA Division I hockey with Clarkson University this season, Buhr returns to the junior program where he spent the previous two campaigns.

During the 2020-21 pod season, Buhr tallied 15 goals and 13 assists for 28 points in 20 games. Those totals ranked him first in goals, second in points, and third in assists on the Bulldogs.

Last year, Buhr put up 22 goals and 47 points through 46 contests with Alberni Valley. He was among the team leaders once again, ranking second in goals, third in points, and fourth in assists. In 10 playoff games with the Bulldogs last spring, he added eight goals and 12 points.

Buhr also played three BCHL games with the West Kelowna Warriors in 2019-20, recording an assist for his first point in the league. While playing in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League with West Van Academy’s U18 Prep team that season, Buhr tallied 33 goals and 71 points in just 34 games.

Both Buhr and Desilets will be welcome additions to a Bulldogs squad that occupied sixth place in the Coastal Conference as of when the roster moves were announced.