The Kootenay Ice have resolved their 20-year-old situation, cutting down to three overagers over the weekend by trading forward Elgin Pearce to the Medicine Hat Tigers for a fifth-round pick in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.
Pearce spent the last three years with the Ice playing as a centreman and collected a total of 72 points in 186 career games.
The native of Port Coquitlam also appeared in 26 career playoff games, tallying eight points.
He was part of the championship-winning team in 2011 that collected the franchise’s third league title.
Pearce was the victim of a numbers game, as the club had to pare down to three overagers between himself, Brock Montgomery, Joey Leach and Drew Czerwonka.
While Leach, Montgomery and Pearce have been playing, Czerwonka recently stepped back out onto the ice last Monday in his first practice of the new season after coming into training camp with an undisclosed upper body injury.
Kootenay Ice head coach Ryan McGill said the deal was the best fit for both Pearce and the team.
“The move on Pearce was something that management and the coaching staff decided that we felt we needed strong leadership…” said McGill.
“Czerwonka being hurt, and almost ready to play, when a deal comes around, you can’t wait and say that we need to see somebody play—that deal might not be there next week, so you have to take it when it comes.”
Pearce will join up with three other 20-year-olds on the Tigers roster, and head coach and general manager Shaun Clouston will have to make some overager decisions himself by the Oct. 11 deadline.
Medicine Hat’s 20 year-olds include Winger Kale Kessy up front, while Alex Theriau and Derek Ryckman patrol the blue line.