In the middle of a dry spell that has seen the club drop its last 10 games, the Rockets have dealt leading scorer Connor Beauchemin to the Castlegar Rebels in exchange for forward Quinn Klimchuk and a player to be named later.
According to head coach Ty Davidson, Klimchuk gives the Rockets a skilled forward that can play on their top two lines, and his 1995 birthday means that he will be a key component for the team going forward, while Beauchemin’s junior eligibility will expire following this campaign. Beauchemin’s scoring touch will surely be missed by a Rockets team that has struggled to create offense this season, but Davidson doesn’t believe that this trade is a sign that the team is giving up on its playoff aspirations.
“We want to build for next year but not by sacrificing this season. The reason I took this deal is because I felt it wasn’t throwing away this season. We’re bringing in a strong player and we’ll still have a very good shot of making the playoffs,” he said.
Klimchuk has missed time with injuries this season, but Davidson is confident he will fit in nicely on one of the Rockets’ scoring lines once he returns, which could be as soon as next weekend.
“He’s shorter but he’s kind of stocky. He has very good speed, he’s a very skilled player and he’s a very smart offensive type player,” he said.
Beauchemin ends his Rockets career with 64 goals and 53 assists for 117 points in 108 games over the past three seasons. He added 15 points in 18 playoff games, including a team-high 10 goals during last season’s playoff run. He is scheduled to make his return to Golden as a member of the Rebels on Jan. 3.