The Neepawa Natives are continuing to fine tune their roster prior to the 2013-14 season.
Most recently, the team traded the Hockey Canada rights to 20 year old forwards Kellen MacBlain and Brendan Wilde to the English River Miners of the SIJHL (Superior International Junior Hockey League) for future considerations.
Wilde netted four goals and 13 points in 39 games played with Neepawa last season, while MacBlain collected seven points in 54 games.
For the Natives, the move was largely influenced by league restrictions and Neepawa's expected roster makeup this season.
“We currently have a number of 20 year olds coming to camp, and we can only keep nine of them,” Natives general manager Myles Cathcart explained. “It comes down to a numbers game.
“MacBlain and Wilde were great team guys, and both represented our community and organization with a professional attitude”.
Earlier this month, Aug. 1, the team also brought in a new face to the roster by adding 20 year old forward Jeremy Laing from the Milton Hawks of the OJHL for future considerations.
Laing scored two goals and six points in 24 games with Milton last season. The six-foot, 194-pound forward will be looked upon to bring some grit to the Natives; he collected 195 penalty minutes in 73 games played over the past two seasons in the OJHL with Milton and the Burlington Cougars.
“Laing is a rugged winger, a team player and someone who wins battles in the corners,” Cathcart said. “He will bring physical toughness to the lineup.”