Pats players ready to move past trading deadline

On January 10th, junior hockey across the country is filled with excitement and nerves.

It’s the final day for teams to make transactions to their rosters as some teams begin their run to the playoffs. While other teams start looking ahead to the future.

With hours remaining before the deadline hits, it appears the Regina Pats made most of their moves in advance.

Final moments in the pregame for the Pats. Photo: Keith Hershmiller

Between Christmas and the New Year, the Pats were active in the trade market, sending 20-year-old defenceman Parker Berge to Everett, 19-year-old Borya Valis was dealt to Prince George, and Alexander Suzdalev was traded to Saskatoon.

Along with the draft capital, Regina acquired 20-year-old defenceman Ty Gibson, 17-year-old defenceman Tyson Buczkowski, 18-year-old defenceman Samuel Barcik and 17-year-old Zach Moore.

The Pats also picked up 18-year-old forward Harper Lolacher from Moose Jaw for a draft pick.

Captain Tanner Howe said it was a tough transition with the moves, but the team is ready to move forward.

“It’s been pretty tough for that first day, obviously we got a bunch of young guys coming in, they’ve been fitting in really well with our group, so it’s been good so far.”

There are a wide range of emotions for junior players entering that pivotal day in January for Gibson. As a 20-year-old, there were more thoughts about the deadline ad compared to years past.

In terms of welcoming new players, Howe says the team doesn’t have a specific strategy.

“Just kind of bring them in, make jokes, kind of involve them in things, stretching and what not and kind of have them over at your house, getting to know them, nothing to special, just bonding with them.”

Moore credits the rest of the team for making the transition as smooth as possible.

“They’ve kind been who they are and that’s all they need to do. They’ve been nothing but nice to me and the new guys, me especially feel really welcomed here.”

It wasn’t long before the new players contributed to the Pats. Moore scored a goal against his old team, the Blades, last Friday, and Barcik had an assist on the overtime-winning goal against the Royals on Saturday that snapped a seven-game losing skid for Regina.

There were some nervous days for Gibson before the trade between the Pats and Silvertips, but he is happy the move occurred a couple of weeks before the deadline.

“It’s less stressful,” said the defenseman. He’s relieved the trade process is over and ready to move on in the Queen City.

Even though the Victoria B.C. product hasn’t been in Regina for a full two weeks, he’s already logged plenty of minutes. As a 20-year-old veteran, he is ready to embrace leadership with the young team in Regina.

“I’ve obviously seen a lot in time in the league, but I just want to help the younger guys, even the guys who got traded, help them adjust a little bit smoother.”

While the last couple of weeks have been busy, it’s a new-look Pats squad compared to the one that took the ice at Brandt Centre on opening night back in September. While the players have changed, the atmosphere hasn’t changed, according to Howe.

“It’s a little bit different, but I mean I don’t really notice too much, I mean the guys in the locker room are my teammates.”

The Pats will now turn their attention towards making a playoff push with a pair of home games at the Brandt Centre, beginning on Friday against the Vancouver Giants. On Saturday, the Prince Albert Raiders will be in Regina, and then on Sunday, the Pats will wrap up their weekend in Saskatoon against the Blades.

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