Nelson D-man Devin McNair headed to Shuswap club for Kingsley Brockett
Nelson — The Nelson Leafs have bolstered their blue line and shored up their leadership group too.
The team has swapped defencemen with the Sicamous Eagles.
Nelson has landed the Eagles’ captain, 19-year-old Kingsley Brockett.
“When I first heard I was traded to Nelson I was really excited,” says Brockett. “They have a great program. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the organization and the town.”
In return, the Leafs are sending promising young blue liner Devin McNair, a native of Texas, to the Shuswap. The package also includes future considerations.
“We weren’t looking to move Devin,” says Coach Adam DiBella, “he’s a great young man and a very hard worker. A defensive defenceman.
“But in order to get a good player,” says DiBella, “you have to move a good player.”
Brockett, who’s 6’2”, 180 pounds, hails from Calgary. Dibella says the blue liner is a strong skating defenceman, point producer and will be a top three D-man with the Leafs.
“I’m a two-way defensemen, I have good patience with the puck, slowing things down to make the smart play,” says Brockett. “I like to join the rush as much as I can. I also bring a physical presence as well.”
The Eagles are last in the Doug Birks Division with six wins and 17 losses.
The Calgarian, who’s netted three goals and five assists with the Eagles in just 13 games played this season, had requested a trade.
“We negotiated for two or three days,” says DiBella, “ and we think he’s going to balance our team out really well.”
Dibella says the new defenceman is going to thrive in the Leafs’ system, just in time for Nelson’s push for a strong playoff run. The Leafs currently lead the Neil Murdoch division — and Brockett says he’s looking forward to helping the team continue its winning ways.
“Being on a team going for a playoff run is always exciting. Playoff hockey is whole new game. It’s faster, more physical, and there’s more determination.”
Everybody wants the opportunity to play playoff hockey, the former Eagles captain says.
“So for me, coming to Nelson to have that opportunity is pretty exciting.”