The Bonnyville Jr. A Pontiacs have added depth to their crease acquiring 18-year-old goaltender Gunnar Neilsen from the Mission City Outlaws.
Neilsen, a six-foot, 154-pound netminder from Abbotsford, B.C. spent the first half of the season in the Pacific Junior Hockey League, a Jr. B league in lower mainland B.C.
Bonnyville made the acquisition for future considerations after finding out that current backup goaltender Josh Williams was going to miss some significant time with a knee injury.
“We knew that we couldn’t run with an emergency replacement and it was unrealistic to think we could carry an AP with us,” said Pontiacs head coach and GM Rick Swan, on the team’s goaltending situation.
“We needed to make sure we looked after that spot. If our goalies gets hurt or (Olivier Charest) needs rest we needed someone who is capable to come in and help us out.”
Neilsen was 10-4 in 14 games with Mission City, posting a 3.01 goals against average and a .919 save percentage.
“He is a really good capable goalie and we think he is going to be a great player,” added Swan.
The Pontiacs expect Williams to be out of the lineup until at least mid-February as he recovers from a knee injury suffered in early December.
Adding Neilsen was the only move made by the Pontiacs over the course of the week, a busy period for the rest of the AJHL.
The CJHL-wide trade deadline was Jan. 10, which resulted in a ton of wheeling and dealing leading up until Sunday.
“Everybody wants something for nothing,” said Swan. “We were not prepared to give up any of our tops guys for little in return.”
“Nothing came that would make sense,” added Swan.