Crystal Stott

Nighthawks Bolster Line-up at Trade Deadline

Ty Dilello

Due to their strong first half of the current MJHL campaign, the Niverville Nighthawks found themselves in the position of buyers at the league’s trade deadline, which passed on January 10.

Making a flurry of moves, the Nighthawks were able to add some key pieces that will hopefully improve their roster for the remainder of the season.

“It’s a busy time around the trade deadline as there’s a lot of conversations,” says head coach and general manager Kelvin Cech. “I was having to take my cell phone in the shower in case someone got back to me then. Every other GM in the league is trying to do what’s best for their team, and we like the position we’re in. We want to show our guys that we’re trying to win every year. And we’ve got excellent goaltending, so we wanted to build around them.”

The Nighthawks kicked things off by acquiring forward Noah Asmundson from the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos for a player development fee. Asmundson had one point in 10 games with Humboldt this season before the trade and has since scored one point in his first two games with Niverville.

Shortly thereafter, the Nighthawks acquired forwards Josh Danis and Alex Walicki from the Swan Valley Stampeders in exchange for forward Ian Ness and future considerations.

Walicki is the key player Niverville added, as he’s a big-scoring centreman who has put up 36 points in 34 games this season with Swan Valley. Josh Danis has been no slouch either, however, having scored 23 points in 31 games.

“We had to say goodbye to Ian Ness, which was tough, but he’s doing better in his situation now. We had room to add 20-year-olds, and we did,” said Cech. “Alex and Josh just fit really well in the middle of the ice. Alex is putting up points already and playing big minutes, and Josh is taking a lot of faceoffs for us and doing great in his role.”

Finally, the Nighthawks capped off the trade deadline by acquiring defenceman Jase Konecsni from the Melville Millionaires of the SJHL for future considerations. Konecsni had zero points in 13 games with Melville before the trade to Niverville.

With the addition of these four new players, Cech and the rest of his coaching staff believe that this Nighthawks team is well-positioned for a playoff run.

“We just take things one day at a time, but it’s hard not to be excited as these new players we’ve acquired are already fitting in like a glove on this team.”