Leafs deal fan favourite Matthew Naka to Kelowna
Sometimes coaches and players just don’t see eye to eye.
Which is the reason why Leaf center Matthew Naka is now a member of the Kelowna Chiefs.
The three-year member of the Green and White was recently dealt to the Chiefs for defenceman Kyle Clayton and futures Wednesday.
“Let’s just say we came to a mutual agreement between Matthew and myself,” Maida told The Nelson Daily Wednesday.
“So Matthew is going to Kelowna for a defenceman and future considerations.”
Naka’s offensive output has slipped since his first year in Nelson when the Vanderhoof native played all 52 games as a 17-year-old scoring five times while adding 33 assists for 38 points.
Last season the 5’10” playmaking centerman was a key player on the Leafs until an off-ice accident caused Naka to miss most of the final games of the regular season.
In Clayton, Nelson is getting another big body on the blueline as the 17-year-old Abbotsford product stand 6’4” and 200 pounds.
Naka is the fourth player to be moved from last season’s team.
Maida traded Dallon Stoddart and Seth Schmidt along with James Sorrey to Castlegar during the summer.
Recently Matt MacDonald was dealt to Revelstoke Grizzlies.
Maida also acquired Brad Rebagliati from the BC Hockey League’s Alberni Valley Bulldogs to replace injured Adam Maida.
Rebagliati, a native of Cranbrook, played in 17 games last season, posting a 3.63 goals against average and goals against average of 0.894.
This season the Bulldogs have struggled, winning just once in 17 attempts.
Maida said Rebagliati, who has been practicing with Nelson all week, should see some action on Nelson’s three-game road trip through the Okanagan.
Ironcially, Saturday’s game is against the Kelowna Chiefs.
Nelson opens the trip Friday in Armstrong against the North Okanagan Knights.
Sunday the Murdoch Division leaders face Summerland Steam.