Last December, the Alberni Valley Bulldogs completed several transactions. One trade saw goaltender Jackson Glassford go to the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Blackfalds Bulldogs. In exchange, Alberni Valley received defender Wyatt Wilson and a player development fee.
Alberni Valley then signed a new backup goaltender by acquiring Hayden Dunford from the junior B Caledonia Corvairs of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League.
Since these transactions, there have been several changes for Alberni Valley and the players included in the transactions. This article is about charting those changes and how they affected the teams involved.
For Blackfalds, the 2021-22 season was their inaugural one. Formerly the Calgary Mustangs franchise, the team was purchased by a Red Deer businessman named Doug Quinn.
Blackfalds’ roster saw 44 different players play during their inaugural season, with Glassford being one of eight goalies to take the ice. After Glassford’s acquisition in December, he and Lucas Massie formed the primary goalie tandem.
In 16 games, the Boulder, CO product finished with a record of 8-7-0. He also played one playoff game for the Bulldogs against the Okotoks Oilers during their first-round series.
For Blackfalds, this deal worked out well. They got a veteran goaltender to help stabilize its crease. Alberni Valley wasn’t going to have Wilson join their roster in 2021-22 as he had already signed on with the Victoria Royals of the Western Hockey League. In addition to still holding the Canadian junior A rights to Wilson, who hails from Swift Current, SK, it also received cash in exchange for Glassford.
After the trade, Glassford played the remainder of the 2021-22 season with Blackfalds. While playing for Alberni Valley, Glassford had committed to Long Island University but has yet to take the ice with the NCAA team.
For the Corvairs, they got future considerations from Alberni Valley, which was likely a player development fee.
During the 2021-22 season, Dunford was one of four goalies to play for Caledonia. He only played six games with the Corvairs before being signed by Alberni Valley and the Guelph, ON native’s record was 3-2.
After he went to Alberni Valley, Dunford played eight games and finished with a record of 4-3-0-1.
Alberni Valley Bulldogs
During the 2021-22 season, Hedquist was a workhorse for Alberni Valley playing 42 games. Between Glassford and Dunford, they only got into a combined 15 games.
When comparing the stats of Glassford and Dunford, it’s clear that the latter has better stats. Alberni Valley needed a more reliable goalie and it got that with Dunford.
Before the 2021-22 season, Glassford hadn’t played since 2019-20 as he wasn’t part of Alberni Valley’s roster during the Port Alberni Pod. Alberni Valley got a reliable backup with Dunford.
During the offseason, Hedquist chose to remain with Alberni Valley before heading to the University of North Dakota. Alberni Valley also recruited goaltender Callum Tung to the team.
Hedquist and Tung formed the new goalie tandem, so on Aug. 5, the Bulldogs traded Dunford to the Merritt Centennials for future considerations. On Nov. 16, the Cents sent him to the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League for futures.
Winners and losers
There are no losers among the teams involved in these transactions. Blackfalds ended up goaltending stability during a chaotic first season. Caledonia had a player move up to the junior A level and received a player development fee. As for Alberni Valley, it improved its goaltending situation.
With Hedquist returning and Tung being a highly touted recruit, Alberni Valley had the luxury of sending Dunford to a team that needed him, which turned out to be the Centennials, before their depth permitted them to send him on to Humboldt.
In the end, every team got what they needed – short-term benefits that didn’t last more than a single season.