Examining Cowichan Valley’s acquisition of Pier-Olivier Allard

On Nov. 27, the Cowichan Valley Capitals struck a trade with the Hawkesbury Hawks of the Central Canada Hockey League. In exchange for 2004-born forward Brandon Clarke, the Caps acquired 2004-born defender Pier-Olivier Allard.

This trade is the latest in several transactions made by the team recently. Currently, they are at the bottom of the Coastal Conference standings and via these moves, Cowichan’s new management is trying to turn the team around.

Allard’s path

Allard’s path of record begins at age 13 with the Quebec Cyclone (Releve) bantam AAA team. During the 2017-18 season, Allard played 25 games for that Cyclones team. That same season, Allard played a level up on the Quebec Typhon bantam AAA squad as an affiliate.

As a 14-year-old in 2018-19, Allard joined the Cyclone bantam AAA team and also got into one game with the Quebec Cyclone Midget Espoir team. Across 31 bantam games that season, he posted two goals and four assists.

During the 2019-20 season, Allard got into a pair of games with the Seminaire St-Francois Blizzard of the Quebec U18 AAA Hockey Development League but spent most of the season on the Quebec Typhon midget espoir team.

For the 2020-21 season as a 16-year-old, Allard joined the Ontario Hockey Academy Gold squad in the Hockey Eastern Ontario U18 AAA league. However, because of COVID-19 restrictions, didn’t play any games.

In 2021-22, Allard joined the Ontario Hockey Academy’s U18 team in the Canadian Sports School Hockey League East and notched seven goals and 15 assists in 32 games.

He made his junior hockey debut in 2022-23 with Hawkesbury and had one goal and three assists in 19 games before the trade to Cowichan Valley.

Clarke’s journey

Starting with the 2017-18 season, Clarke joined the Cape Breton Cougars of the Nova Scotia Major Bantam Hockey League and spent two seasons with them. In 63 games with the Cougars, he finished with 31 goals and 30 assists.

Before the 2019-20 season, the 15-year-old Clarke joined the U18 Sydney Rush of the Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League. In 32 NSMMHL games, he had eight goals and 10 assists.

As a 16-year-old for the 2020-21 season, Clarke attended Rothesay Netherwood School in New Brunswick. He put together a solid rookie season with four goals and 11 assists in 14 games of U18 AAA action.

The following season, Clarke played 42 games at Rothesay Netherwood and finished second in scoring with 33 goals and 16 assists in 40 games. He also debuted in junior hockey as an affiliate and played three games for the Miramichi Timberwolves of the Maritime Hockey League.

The Capitals announced Clarke’s commitment for the 2022-23 season in May and he was scoreless in 11 games with Cowichan before being sent to Hawkesbury.

After the trade

Since joining the Hawks, Clarke has regained his offense. In nine CCHL games as of this writing, Clarke has four goals and three assists.

As for Allard, he’s never been an offensive blueliner. Since joining the Capitals, Allard has one assist in three games. Before being traded, Allard put up a goal and three assists in 19 games for the Hawks.

With the Capitals’ roster turnover, Vandekamp is putting his stamp on the team and Clarke just didn’t carry over his offensive production from Rothesay Netherwood School.

In addition to this trade, the Caps have made several other transactions since Mike Vandekamp took over. On Nov. 18, Cowichan Valley signed 2006-born forward Dryden Kuramoto to the roster, and at the same time, released 2003-born forward Bennett Barnes.

Before jumping to Cowichan, Kuramoto played 12 games as a rookie for the Chilliwack Chiefs. On Nov. 28, the Chiefs announced that Kuramoto had left the team to pursue other opportunities. As for Barnes, he joined the US Hockey League’s Madison Capitols since departing Duncan.

Another departure is forward Jackson Morehouse, who got into 22 games with the Capitals this season. He has signed on with the Jersey Hitmen of the National Collegiate Development Conference.

Finally, defender William Elias has committed to playing NCAA Division I hockey at the College of the Holy Cross. His first season with the Crusaders men’s team is 2023-24.