Duncan, BC – The Cowichan Valley Capitals hockey club announced today the acquisition of F Mitch Skapski (96) and F Haydn Hopkins (97) from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, ahead of the BCHL’s trade deadline. Going to Salmon Arm in the deal is F Ryan Hogg (98) and F Trevor Ayre (98), as well as future considerations.
Skapski, who was the ‘Backs captain this season, will join his younger brother, defenseman Marshall, on the Capitals roster as he completes his overage season. The Abbotsford native had 14 goals and 36 points in 38 games, as well as 33 penalty minutes. In his BCHL career, split between the Silverbacks and Chilliwack Chiefs, Skapski has 28 goals and 65 points in 124 games. He also has 143 games of WHL experience, spending time with the Everett Silvertips, Victoria Royals and most recently the Saskatoon Blades.
Hopkins, a Victoria native, will have a chance to play just down the road from home. The 19-year-old had four goals and 15 points in 25 games with the Silverbacks this season. He started the year with the OHL’s Erie Otters where he played two games. Hopkins has also played two games with the Victoria Grizzlies in his junior career, and has 15 points in 27 career BCHL games. He’s played 53 games in the WHL, split between the Saskatoon Blades, Prince George Cougars and Vancouver Giants, and also has suited up for 33 OHL games with the Otters.
The Duncan native Hogg had played his entire BCHL career with the Capitals; the 18-year-old totaled 38 points in 122 games. Ayre, meanwhile, from Surrey and also 18-years old, will now play with his third BCHL team in the Silverbacks. He had four goals and seven points in 20 games with the Capitals, after being acquired from the Langley Rivermen on Nov 4. In 86 career games, he has nine goals and 23 points.
“We would like to welcome Haydn and Mitch to the team, and we would like to thank Ryan and Trevor for their contributions. Both are excellent young men with great potential,” Capitals head coach and GM Bob Beatty said in a statement. “Ryan has been part of the Caps family for 2 and a half years. It will be different not having him around but we wish both he and Trevor all the best with their new opportunity.
In acquiring Skapski and Hopkins, [the Caps] gain two forwards with major junior experience. Mitch is excited about finishing his junior career alongside his brother Marshall who was acquired in late November from the Merritt Centennials. Haydn is originally from Victoria and is pleased to get back closer to home. Both will be relied on heavily in the stretch run and playoffs.”
Cowichan is in action next on Friday, Jan 13, when the team begins a three-game road trip at the Coquitlam Express.
The Caps next home game is Friday, Jan 20 vs. Victoria Grizzlies at 7:00 pm. To purchase tickets to this game, or to any other home game, visit the box office or call 250-748-9930, or contact Marie Ruzesky at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Scott Yanko at email@example.com.