Forward Drew Warkentine (#14) lays in a pile under Hurricanes forward Ryley Lindgren during pre-season action Sept. 8 at Cranbrook's Memorial Arena. Warkentine was re-assigned from the Ice roster Sunday afternoon.

Forward Drew Warkentine (#14) lays in a pile under Hurricanes forward Ryley Lindgren during pre-season action Sept. 8 at Cranbrook's Memorial Arena. Warkentine was re-assigned from the Ice roster Sunday afternoon.

Kootenay Ice reduce roster by three

Forwards Drew Warkentine, Harris Pearce, and defenceman Mark O'Shaughnessy demoted after conclusion of WHL pre-season

The Kootenay Ice roster got a little slimmer Sunday, as the team announced the reassignment of forwards Drew Warkentine (1998), Harris Pearce (1999) and defenceman Mark O’Shaughnessy (1997).

“It’s always tough, it’s the worst part of the job,” said Luke Pierce, head coach of the Kootenay Ice. “We’ve got to start to move forward now. Whether we’re fully confident in the moves we’re going to make or not, we have to live with it and try to give ourselves the best chance moving forward.”

Warkentine, a 2013 fifth-round pick (89th) of the Ice, registered one goal in six pre-season games and is expected to return home to focus on his studies.

The undrafted Pearce went pointless in four pre-season outings and is headed back to the Vancouver Northeast Chiefs of the B.C. Major Midget League.

O’Shaughnessy, also undrafted, put up one assist in four pre-season appearances. His destination is still to be determined.

The Ice roster now sits at 28 (three goaltenders, 11 defencemen, 14 forwards) including players at NHL training camps.

Forwards Jaedon Descheneau (1995) and Luke Philp (1995), along with defenceman Tanner Faith (1995) all remain with their respective NHL clubs.

The Ice open the 2015 WHL regular season Friday night (7 p.m.)  when they host the Calgary Hitmen at Western Financial Place in Cranbrook.