The Victoria Grizzlies’ blue line just got a lot bigger.
The B.C. Hockey League club has added six-foot-six, 220-pound defenceman Declan Ride in a three-way deal involving two Junior A teams from Ontario.
The 18-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., was drafted in the major-junior Ontario Hockey League by the Guelph Storm but instead has accepted an NCAA Div. 1 offer from Miami of Ohio for the 2022-23 season. He had six assists in 2019-20 for the Junior A Oakville Blades of the OJHL.
With Ride coming to the Grizzlies, the rights to 20-year-old American defenceman Cole Weinger go to Oakville while the Carleton Place Canadians receive future considerations, as part of the deal.
Ride was ranked 201st among North American skaters for the 2021 NHL draft by Central Scouting but was not selected.
“Declan Ride is a big, physical defenceman who will make an immediate impact to our lineup,” said Grizzlies GM and head coach Craig Didmon.
“An identified NHL prospect, Declan plays a strong defensive game and is tough to play against. He also has an offensive flair to his play, which is growing, and the Grizzlies are a great fit for him and that process.”
The Grizzlies also sent out a couple of players on Thursday, dealing 20-year-old netminder Justin Easter to the Pickering Panthers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League for future considerations, and sending forward Matteo Turrin to the Nanaimo Clippers for future considerations.