Victoria Grizzlies dip into U.S. for two-way forward O'Malley

Craig Didmon got what he wanted on B.C. Hockey League trade deadline day on Tuesday.

The Victoria Grizzlies general manager and head coach was hoping to add a tough, two-way forward who is solid at both ends of the rink. He looks to have that in forward Shawn O’Malley, whom he acquired from the Shreveport Mudbugs of the North American Hockey League for future considerations. The six-foot, 200-pound, 19-year-old winger played on Detroit U-18 Victory Honda last season with current Grizzlies T.J. Friedmann and Justin Michaelian.

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O’Malley had three goals and five assists, along with 30 penalty minutes in 22 games for the Mudbugs this season.

“[O’Malley] is a depth forward who can play in a lot of different situations with physicality and edge,” said Didmon.

“I expect Shawn to get comfortable real quick and become an asset for our hockey club right away. We expect him to be a 200-foot forward that finishes checks and fits in as a great teammate.”

Forward Cory Hatcher, 19, has been reassigned to the Westshore Wolves of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League for the rest of the season, to make space for O’Malley.

The Grizzlies (26-8-7) meet the Nanaimo Clippers on Thursday night at The Q Centre before concluding the home stand with back-to-back dates Saturday and Sunday against the Powell River Kings.

The Cowichan Valley Capitals were also buys on Tuesday, adding a pair of veteran forwards.

The Caps picked up 20-year-old Mitch Skapski and 19-year-old Victoria product Haydn Hopkins from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in exchange for 18-year-old forwards Ryan Hogg and Trevor Ayre. Hopkins has 15 points in 25 games for Salmon Arm this season.

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