The Fort McMurray Oil Barons have acquired 1995-born defenceman Kaiden Tobin from the Drayton Valley Thunder, in exchange for 1994-born forward Parker Evans-Campbell.
“It wasn’t something that, frankly, we were looking at doing,” explained head coach and general manager Gord Thibodeau. “But they called us last week and mentioned Tobin’s name, they specifically wanted Parker, so we’d been talking about it for about a week.”
Tobin grew up in Fort McMurray and previously played minor hockey here before moving on to AAA teams in Spruce Grove and St. Albert.
“Kaiden is a very physical, tough kid that can play both defence and forward,” Thibodeau said. “He’s very familiar with our fans and the style of game up here, and we thought he would be a good fit.”
He played 52 games in Drayton Valley last year, racking up 156 penalty minutes.
“We need a bit more grit in our lineup to protect some of our skilled players, and he fits that,” said Thibodeau.
The coach added that Tobin has asked to play as a forward this season, though he may be used at defence early on based on positional need.
Thibodeau says he expects the team’s main camp to be smaller than usually, with 33 or fewer players, owing to their early exhibition game against the Notre Dame Hounds on August 17th.
He also predicted that he would know whether or not recent acquisitions from British Columbia, defenceman Zach Urban and forward Matt Grant, would be reporting to the team, within the next two weeks.