Acquire defenceman Brock Hopkins with fifth pick in draft
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The Western Royals have its full roster of 25 players in place after the signing of Colin Power.
DEER LAKE The Western Royals have its full roster of 25 players in place after the signing of Colin Power and acquisition of Brock Hopkins with the fifth pick in the mid-season draft.
Power, a Mount Pearl native, was acquired by the Royals in an off-season trade with the Mount Pearl H J Bartlett Electric Blades in exchange for Deer Lake native Jake Easton. Power lives in Halifax and wasn’t able to commit to the Royals because of work commitments earlier in the season, but apparently has freed up his schedule to play senior hockey once again on the island.
“He’s another gritty player and plays with an edge, which is the style of our team. Colin is definitely a good power forward to add to this team right now,” Royals president Ross Coates said of the signing.
Power had eight assist in 18 games with the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts last season. The 29-year-old 200-pound forward spent a season with the Cataracts after being grabbed in the player dispersal draft held when his Mount Pearl Blades squad opted to take a year hiatus to get the team prepared for competition in a provincial senior hockey league. It was the league’s decision that any player who played with the Blades before the hiatus would automatically become the team’s property upon a return to the league.
Coates, who admits he’s not a big fan of the player draft, used his fifth pick to select Avalon East product Hopkins — a Halifax native who lives in St. John’s — and opted to pass on his picks in the following rounds because he didn’t see anything available that could improve his team. To make room for Hopkins on the roster, even though Coates isn’t sure he can lure the rearguard to the west coast to play for the team, the Royals management team decided to release defenceman Ashley Coles.
Coles, a steady defender for the Royals for years, hasn’t played a game this year for the Royals. A member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Coles had told the Royals organization that his work schedule would prevent him from making a commitment to senior hockey anytime soon so Coates released a guy who was known for his strong work ethic and leadership qualities on and off the ice.
Time will tell if Hopkins becomes a piece of the puzzle for the Royals.
“I’ve been talking to him, but he’s not sure if he can come to the west coast because it’s a bit far to travel,” he said, noting he don’t understand why some players put their name in draft if they aren’t willing to play with the team selecting them.
Power will make his debut with the Royals in Clarenville this weekend.
Coach Kearsey isn’t familiar with the latest addition, but has heard enough good things to know what he’ll expect from Power when he inserts him into the lineup.
“He’s supposed to be a strong power forward who likes to hit and I will certainly be using him up front to play the style of hockey we want to play, which is dump the puck in deep, hit and cycle,” Kearsey said, noting he’s still unsure of where he will fit Power into the line combinations until he knows the availability of players for the road trek.
The Royals clash with the Caribous Friday 8 p.m. and Saturday 7:30 p.m. at the Clarenville Events Centre.