Garrett James Photography

Revisiting Rivermen trades from the 2019-20 season


The 2019-20 season saw the Langley Rivermen make eight trades to help bolster their lineup. The first two came last summer before the season started, they then made a trade in each of the first three months of the season, and finally, before the roster freeze in January, the Rivermen made three more deals.

In junior hockey, it is fairly common to see a lot of trades involving future considerations and most of the trades the Rivermen were involved in are no different. In fact, only one of these trades I revisit involved both teams getting a player in return.

Let’s start back in the summer of 2019.

Offseason trades

The Rivermen started their 2019 summer acquiring 20-year-old forward Jonathan Stein in June from the Brantford 99ers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League for future considerations. Stein was traded to Brantford only a few weeks prior after he spent the 2018-19 season with the Nanaimo Clippers.

The Vancouver product played a key checking role on the Rivermen this past season but he was also able to chip in on the offense scoring 10 goals and eight assists over 46 games. He also added two assists in four postseason games against the Coquitlam Express.

Throughout three seasons in the BCHL with the Cowichan Valley Capitals, the Clippers, and the Rivermen, Stein scored 24 goals and added 33 assists in 144 career games. He will play NCAA Div. III hockey this season with Albertus Magnus College.

July 2019 saw the Rivermen make another trade as they acquired Will Dow-Kenny from the Kanata Lasers of the Central Canada Hockey League in exchange for future considerations. Dow-Kenny split the previous season between the Chilliwack Chiefs and the Vernon Vipers. Similar to the Stein situation, he never actually played a game with the Lasers as he was traded to the Rivermen just weeks after the Vipers sent him to Kanata.

Dow-Kenny played a key role as a shutdown defensemen with Langley this past season and also hit the scoresheet a few times with three goals and 10 assists in 54 games. In total, over two seasons in the BCHL the Abbotsford native has scored four goals and had 18 assists in 103 games. He will likely play a big role as a leader on the Rivermen’s blue line coming into his 20-year-old season.

Early season transactions

Early on last September, before the season started, the Rivermen traded forward Ryley Lanthier to the Melfort Mustangs of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League for future considerations. Lanthier played one season with the Rivermen in 2018, scoring three goals and adding eight assists over 47 games.

The Surrey native split last season between Melfort and the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Swan Valley Stampeders and will head to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls this season to start his college career.

The month of October saw the Rivermen acquire Connor Wetsch from the Nanaimo Clippers, once again, for future considerations. Wetsch only suited up in seven games for Langley last season and in total, he has played in 54 BCHL games over two seasons while adding two assists.

The middle of November had the Rivermen make another deal as they sent future considerations to the Cornwall Colts of the CCHL and received Matthew Hubbarde in return. Hubbarde started the 2019-20 season in the North American Hockey League with the Jamestown Rebels before heading back to Canada to join the Rivermen.

The product of Locust Hill, Ontario made an immediate impact on the lineup once he arrived in Langley and scored 10 goals and 16 assists in 35 games. His offensive play carried over to the playoffs as he finished with two goals and an assist in four games. Hubbarde is a 20-year-old player this season and the Rivermen will lean on him for his scoring and leadership abilities.

Deadline Deals

The Rivermen were able to get in three trades prior to the BCHL roster freeze on January 10. The first deal saw the Powell River Kings send the Rivermen forward Hunter McCoy in exchange for veteran forward Devin Leduc.

McCoy played in 30 games with the Kings, scoring nine goals and adding 11 assists before joining the Rivermen. During his time in Langley, McCoy suited up in 17 games and chipped in with three goals and one assist. The product of Newburyport, Massachusetts is heading into his 20-year-old season when the BCHL starts up.

The second trade involved the Rivermen and the Minnesota Wilderness of the NAHL as goaltender Jonathan Mor headed to Langley in exchange for future considerations. Mor saw action in 10 regular season games and posted a 3.56 goals-against average and a .889 save percentage. He saw action in three playoff games, finishing with a 4.39 goals-against average and a .859 save percentage.

The Highland Park, Illinois native committed to Michigan State University once the season finished and will head there this season.

The final trade of the 2019-20 season came in right under the roster freeze deadline. The trade saw the Rivermen ship goaltender Kristian Lyon to the Battleford North Stars of the SJHL in exchange for futures.

Lyon, who is from Langley, suited up in 13 games, posting a 3.30 goals-against average and a .886 save percentage before being traded to Battleford.

So far on the trade front, it’s been a quiet summer for the Rivermen, so it will be interesting to see if general manager Bobby Henderson pulls the trigger on any deals at all before the start of the 2020-21 BCHL season in December.