FORT McMURRAY, AB (November 8, 2014) – The Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League have signed 1994-born defenceman Wil Tomchuk (Fort McMurray, AB), and acquired 1995-born forward Kyle Star (Langley, BC) from the Olds Grizzlys in exchange for 1994-born goaltender Jesse Gordichuk (Penticton, BC), the team announced today.
Tomchuk spent the last two seasons in the Western Hockey League (WHL), first with the Tri-City Americans, then the Prince George Cougars, where he dressed in 131 total WHL games, registering one goal and 10 assists.
Prior to his WHL career, Tomchuk played with the Oil Barons as a rookie in 2011-12, travelling with the MOB to Omsk, Russia for the first-ever World Junior Club Cup, and playing in 66 total regular season and playoff games as the Barons won the AJHL North division.
“He’s a veteran guy; he’s been around the game and is a real mature kid, and he’s a steadying force,” said Oil Barons head coach and general manager Curtis Hunt.
Prior to his junior hockey career, the 6’2”, 200lb defenceman graduated from the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy in Kelowna, B.C., prior to which he played for the Fort McMurray Minor Hockey Association on the local Bantam AA rep team.
With the trade of Gordichuk, the Barons remain at the AJHL limit of 6 1994-born players on the roster.
“Jesse requested a move, and we wish him well with his new team,” explained Hunt. “It then became clear that we would want to make Wil Tomchuk a part of this organization, while finding Jesse a place to play.”
Star arrives to the Oil Barons after a spectacular rookie season with Olds last year, in which he recorded 45 points (19 goals, 26 assists) in 58 games. So far this season, he has scored 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists) in 14 games.
“I was actually quite surprised that he was available,” said Hunt of his newest forward. “Star was circled since the showcase. We like the way he moves, and the way he thinks the game. We’re also confident in his abilities in the offensive zone.”
“The addition of both of these players makes us a little older throughout our lineup. That will help us to perform in the short-term, but I’m also looking forward to seeing their longer-term effects on the development of our younger players.”
Gordichuk was in his second season with the Oil Barons, and had played in a total of 24 games with the MOB, registering a 17-4 record with a 2.05 goals against average and .934 save percentage.
The Oil Barons host the Sherwood Park Crusaders tonight at 8 PM at the Casman Centre in their only home game of the week, and last home bout for the next two weeks. Tickets are available at the Casman Centre box office, by phone at (780) 743-5509, or online at tickets.oilbarons.com.