Leafs begin KIJHL stretch run Friday against BV Hawks
What you see is what you get.
All that talk prior to the January 10 roster deadline for Kootenay International Junior Hockey League teams proved to be a lot of smoke and mirrors for the Nelson Leafs.
It’s not that management was not busy working the phones trying to find the diamond in the rough of a player that would bolster an already very good lineup.
However, when the clock struck midnight, Nelson General Manager Lance Morey had no big moves to report.
“I tried to acquire one more player to help us on the back end in case of an injury . . . but I was unable to get a player that would be an upgrade,” Morey told The Nelson Daily.
And then there was that deal announced prior to the Christmas break that would have brought winger Dylan Williamson to Nelson from North Battleford of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League via Calgary Canucks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
“We could not get his release to card (Dylan),” said Morey.
“Also, (there was health issues with a family member) his family decided he should be closer to home.”
After spending time in Nelson, Williamson ended up on the roster of the Olds Grizzlies of the AJHL.
However, Leaf fans should not panic.
What’s left in the dressing room is a team that currently sits first in the Murdoch Division — second overall in the KIJHL.
Nelson has already clinched a playoff spot — something the Leafs waited until the final week of the season last year — and is currently riding a five-game winning streak heading into the final month — 12 games, seven at home and five on the road — of the season.
“I think we are sitting very well player wise,” said Morey.
“The other factor was we did not want to do anything to disrupt the chemistry in our dressing room,” Morey added.
“We have a very tight group of players, they all get along and have shown they will stick up for each other when ever needed.
“We do have a quality group of AP players to call on should we need the help down the road.”
Leafs open three-game weekend Friday against Nitehawks
Sparked by the Allstar play of netminder Josh Williams, a solid defence and forwards that find timely ways to score, Nelson appears poised to make a run for the finish line as the Leafs return to action following a 10-day Friday when the club hosts Beaver Valley Nitehawks in the first of two weekend meetings.
Sunday the two teams pickup from where a power outages halted play of the December 29th contest in Frutivale beginning at 2 p.m.
Between the two games, Nelson hosts Grand Forks Saturday at the NDCC Arena.
Both games in Nelson have a 7 p.m. puck drop.