Storm Pull Trigger on Another Trade

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Campbell River Storm and Nanaimo Buccaneers have completed a three player deal. The Storm have traded Forward Mathieu Jallabert (’97), whom they acquired in April, to the Buccaneers in exchange for Goalie John Hawthorne (’98) and Defenceman Julius Zhang (’99).

Jallabert, at 5’10 165 pounds, played last season with the SJHL Melville Millionaires. He played his first two seasons of Junior with the Oceanside Generals averaging 1.2 points per game.

John Hawthorne was incredible in the back half of the 2016/17 season and into the playoffs. According to Storm Head Coach/General Manager Lee Stone, “we bring in a bona fide starting goaltender that, Campbell River fans could see, has the ability to win games on his own.” Hawthorne boasted a regular season save percentage of .915 that only got better in the play-offs (.937). Against the Storm in 13 games last year, he held a 2.60 GAA and .921 SV percentage. Stone admits trading for Hawthorne is a bit of a gamble, “he has a great opportunity in Alberni Valley and we wish him the best of luck but if he ends up with us we’ll be happy to give him a home.”

Julius Zhang played most of the season with the Buccaneers but in February pursued a glorious opportunity. He joined the China U-18 National team, where the 16 year old from Richmond BC became an Assistant Captain and put up points on the way to a Gold Medal performance at the IIHF World Junior Division 3A Championships. China were a perfect 5-0 and Zhang led all defencemen in scoring and was the tournament’s assist leader. Stone liked what he saw, last season, in the young D-man, “he’s a reliable defender that fits our style of play, he moves the puck extremely well, he can make a great outlet pass and he can get in the play to join the rush; that’s exactly what we’re looking for.” Zhang is hoping to make the jump to Junior A but his long term goal is to play in the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

The 2017/18 VIJHL regular kicks off on Friday, September 1 when the Storm host the Oceanside Generals.