Kamloops gets grit with Grist
The Kamloops Blazers acquired 19-year-old defenceman Sam Grist from the Tri-City Americans in exchange for a pair of WHL bantam draft picks on Tuesday, Oct. 9.
"Sam is a big defenceman who is coming to us from a successful program in Tri-City,” Blazer general manager Craig Bonner said in a press release.
“His experience and leadership qualities will add more depth to our back end.”
Tri-City received a third-round pick in 2013 and a fifth-round pick in 2014 in exchange for Grist, a North Saanich product.
In 119 regular-season games with the Americans, Grist is plus-17, with three goals, 15 points and 207 penalty minutes.
With the acquisition of Grist, the Blazers have 25 players on their roster — 14 forwards, nine blue-liners and two goaltenders.
The Blazers will likely carry eight defencemen this season, so don't be surprised if the number of blue-liners on the roster is reduced through trade or re-assignment.
Columbus Blue Jackets' defenceman Austin Madaisky, 20, could still be returned to Kamloops from the NHL squad's American Hockey League affiliate, the Springfield Falcons of Massachusetts.
Madaisky's future with the Falcons is not yet known, said Bonner, and Grist was not brought in as his replacement.
The deal was all about depth and toughness, with the playoffs specifically in mind, according to Bonner, who was happy to give up draft picks rather than players, noting that would have been tougher to do later in the season when asking prices rise.
Springfield, which gets its 2012-2013 campaign underway against St. John's on Saturday, Oct. 13, has 10 D-men on its roster and will likely carry eight.
The Blazers' most-recent acquisition is known across the league as a tough-to-play-against D-man, who's not afraid to throw his weight around.
He will likely make his debut with the Blue and Orange against the Spokane Chiefs on Friday, Oct. 12.
Puck-drop scheduled for 7 p.m.