Back on Nov. 24. 2020, the Cranbrook Bucks posted a news release announcing they had rounded out their roster.
Included in the release was the following message, indicating they had finalized their roster ahead of the regular season.
“The Cranbrook Bucks now sit at 24 rostered players to start the regular season with 14 forwards, 8 defensemen, and 2 goalies. Some of the player commitments made in the summer were unable to report due to different circumstances and the Bucks roster is now set to start the regular season.”
However, much has changed since late November after a delay to the start of the regular season lasting approximately four months. As it pertains to the roster, Cranbrook was forced to replace nine players from the team that finished the exhibition season.
Four of the 14 forwards with the team at the end of training camp have moved on. Briggs Gammill, who was tapped as the Bucks’ first ever captain, returned to his home state of Connecticut, joining the Connecticut Junior Rangers of the National Collegiate Development Conference.
— Cranbrook Bucks (@CranbrookBucks) November 5, 2020
The Bucks also had to replace three of the defensemen from their training camp roster. Jason Marsella joined Gammill with the Connecticut Jr. Rangers, while Jagger Benson left for the Worcester Jr. Railers of the Eastern Hockey League. 20-year-old Carson Kurylo also left Cranbrook on a one-way ticket.
Between the pipes, Jacob Zacharewicz left for the Minnesota Wilderness of the North American Hockey League. Then, one of the two goalies who remained with the team, Christian Trianni, left in search of the next step in his career.
The Bucks 2020-21 regular season roster
While the departed players created some holes in the Bucks lineup, the team was able to fill those holes and complete their roster.
NEWS: BCHL Announces Schedule for 2020-21 Season
Your Cranbrook Bucks will open their inaugural season on April 3 against @PentictonVees.
Full story & schedule here 👇https://t.co/41NaVV8a9N
— Cranbrook Bucks (@CranbrookBucks) March 23, 2021
Here is the Cranbrook Bucks 25-player regular season roster. Each players’ birth year and hometown are also included, as listed on the Bucks website.
#4 Reece Henry (2000, Regina, Saskatchewan)
#6 Nikolas Sombrowski (2001, Fernie, BC)
#7 Jarrod Smith (2004, West Vancouver, BC)
#9 Hayden Gelbard (2002, West Vancouver, BC)
#10 Noah Quinn (2003, Nelson, BC)
#11 Bryce Krauter (2000, Winnipeg, Manitoba)
#12 Nathan Fox (2002, Okotoks, Alberta)
#14 Tyson Dyck (2004, Abbotsford, BC)
#15 Zeth Kindrachuk (2002, Calgary, Alberta)
#19 Christian Lowe (2002, Port Moody, BC)
#22 Noah Leibl (2002, Del Mar, California)
#23 Sheldon Pryce (2002, Seaforth, Ontario)
#26 Walker Gelbard (2005, West Vancouver, BC)
#27 AJ Vasko (2002, La Salle, Manitoba)
#2 Drake Burgin (2000, Winnipeg, Manitoba)
#3 Bryce Margetson (2002, Surrey, BC)
#5 Rhys Bentham (2002, Calgary, Alberta)
#8 Quaid Anderson (2001, Cranbrook, BC)
#16 Nick Dobson (2001, Cochrane, Alberta)
#17 Cameron Kungle (2002, Red Deer, Alberta)
#18 Cam Reid (2002, Kimberley, BC)
#24 Cole Assailly (2003, Kimberley, BC)
#1 Jay Thomson (2001, Canmore, Alberta)
#29 Nathan Airey (2003, Abbotsford, BC)
#39 Eric Scherger (2000, Devon, Alberta)
In terms of the recent additions to the roster, the Bucks benefitted from the cancellation of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League season. The acquisitions of Reece Henry, Bryce Krauter, and Drake Burgin added over 350 games of Junior A experience.
Personnel changes behind the bench
NEWS: Bucks Announce Assistant Coach Personnel Changes
The Cranbrook Bucks are pleased to announce the addition of Ehren Menard and Todd Skirving to the coaching staff for the 2021 season.
Full press release here 👇https://t.co/dieRRkImYI
— Cranbrook Bucks (@CranbrookBucks) March 15, 2021
Menard comes to Cranbrook from the KC program in Edmonton, where he served in various roles at different levels. His playing career is highlighted by 41 games in the Superior International Junior Hockey League.
Skirving joins the Bucks coaching staff as a current player in the ECHL. He carries 107 games worth of professional experience in that league, after skating in 127 games in the NCAA. Skirving also played 49 BCHL games between Vernon and Prince George.
Cranbrook also announced that assistant coach Adam Stuart has moved on from the team. Stuart leaves to become the head coach of Northern Alberta Xtreme’s U15 team in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League.
Without a doubt, the Bucks lost some key pieces from what they thought would be their inaugural season’s roster. However, the personnel they brought in have plenty of experience, as well as a desire to play a few more junior hockey games. It should be a fun team to watch.