Victoria Grizzlies make deal for veteran blue-liner Hardy Wagner

The Victoria Grizzlies continue to re-tool their roster for the 2020-21 season.

On Monday the B.C. Hockey League club that was swept in the first round of the playoffs in March, swapped out some youth for some veteran experience on the blue line.

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The Grizzlies sent 18-year-old defenceman Chace Oliver to the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Notre Dame Hounds for 19-year-old blue-liner Hardy Wagner.

Wagner, who’ll turn 20 in December, spent the past two seasons with Notre Dame, playing 47 games this past season while scoring seven goals and adding 12 assists. The year before, the six-foot, 180-pound Regina native played 52 games while collecting three goals and 16 assists.

“Wagner is an experienced right-handed defenceman who played top minutes for Notre Dame last season,” said Grizzlies GM and head coach Craig Didmon.

“He has good offensive ability and is solid in his own end.”

Oliver played 43 games in his rookie year with the Grizzlies this past season, collecting three assists.

Also Monday, the Grizzlies sent forward Kahlil Fontana to the Dauphin Kings of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League in exchange for future considerations.

Fontana, who’ll turn 19 in August and hails from Duncan, dressed for 40 games with the Grizzlies last season, scoring five goals and six assists.

“Fontana and Oliver are deals that were both tough to make as they are great, quality kids and tough competitors,” Didmon said.

“But they will be in a situation where they can continue to develop their game.”

The Grizzlies are tentatively set to open training camp on Sept. 1.

bdrewry@timescolonist.com

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