Darren Rizzolo (right) works to keep the puck in play during a preseason game against the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Wednesday, Aug. 29. (Elena Rardon/Alberni Valley Times)

Salmon Arm Silverbacks acquire veteran defenceman Darren Rizzolo

Ethan McLaughlin traded to Alberni Valley Bulldogs in return

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks have added some new defensive talent to the bench with their latest trade, swapping rookie defenceman Ethan McLaughlin for veteran skater Darren Rizzolo, formerly of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.

Rizzolo has three seasons in the BCHL under his belt, and this one will be his last in the league. So far this season with the Bulldogs, he has put up one goal and 10 assists. He is not a total stranger to the area, having played with the Vernon Vipers in the past, and is excited to join the Silverbacks and return to playing in one of the toughest divisions in the BCHL.

“The teammates here are really good, I met them all today, and it’s a nice place to live. I knew Andy Stevens and Sol Seibel from before, and as soon as they found out they contacted me and they were really welcoming, everybody was. It’s been great so far,” Rizzolo says. “I used to play in Vernon and the Interior, and I know the division is a lot tougher. I want to get used to that again, everything on the hockey side is looking good and I am really glad to join a winning team.”

Related: Silverbacks’ Matthew Verboon reflects on experience at World Juniors

Rizzolo says he was looking for a change of pace this season, opting to be put up for trade.

“I just wanted a change, it was my decision. I felt like things were kind of stagnating there, it was my third year there and I just wanted a change. I wanted to join a team that is used to winning,” he says.

The Silverbacks’ coaching staff made the call to trade McLaughlin, who is in his rookie year, for Rizzolo in order to bolster their defensive line even further. Silverbacks head coach and GM Scott Atkinson says it was a difficult decision.

“Ethan is an outstanding individual and a young player with a bright future in this league, and we wish him nothing but the best in the future. In Rizzolo we are acquiring an experienced BCHL defenceman who can contribute in all facets of the game.”

Rizzolo hopes he can contribute however he is needed, and is confident he has a well-rounded skill set.

“I’m just looking to bring out anything they need. I am a pretty well-rounded defenceman; I can do power-plays, I can provide offence, but I like to kill penalties and I can provide that too. We have a really good defensive-core here,” Rizzolo says. “I am not exactly sure where I fit right now, but we will see and hopefully I can just help us win.”

Related: Silverbacks’ win first home and away games of 2019

Little more than a week after joining the Silverbacks, Rizzolo will be facing off with his old teammates from Alberni Valley. While he knows there will be some friendly rivalries, he is confident there won’t be any hard feelings.

“It will be a little weird, but I mean I have done it before when I got traded from Vernon. It is kind of nice to see the guys again because you know you won’t see them again for a long time. There will be some chirping, but other than that it will be good. I know how they all play and I know their structure better than anybody so it will be fine for me,” he says.

Rizzolo’s first run of games on the Silverbacks bench were against the Vernon Vipers Jan. 11, then the Powell River Kings Jan. 12 and the Nanaimo Clippers Jan. 13.


 

@Jodi_Brak117
jodi.brak@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Rainy days ahead

Rain in the forecast until Wednesday

Video: Shuswap home to thriving community of beekeepers

Apiary operators share details about how they keep their hives healthy

Sock Hop aims to send dancers back to another time

Writers’ Festival fundraiser springs into step for another year

Snapshot: Shuswap musicians pay tribute to Pete Seeger

Wildwood Productions Group concert shows many sides of singer’s work

Rain on the way for the Okanagan-Shuswap

Vernon’s dust warning is ongoing

Mueller finds no Trump collusion, leaves obstruction open

But while Mueller fully ruled out criminal collusion, he was more circumspect on presidential obstruction of justice

Edmonton judge rules Omar Khadr’s sentence has expired

Eight-year sentence imposed in 2010 would have ended last October had Khadr remained in custody

Career fair an open door to opportunity

Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair takes place Thursday, April 11 in Kelowna

New Okanagan burger restaurant offers gluten-free, meatless options

Bin 4 Burger Lounge is open for business in Kelowna

VIDEO: Dramatic fire destroys Surrey home

A freelancer at the scene said occupants made it out of the Fraser Heights house safely

Looking for artwork of historic South Okanagan landmark for exhibition

The SS Sicamous Marine Heritage Society is looking for artwork for an exhibition

Woman wants Tofino to get a nude beach

“They may enjoy a surf and then walk around naked and just be free.”

Ice climbers scale Canada’s tallest waterfall on Vancouver Island

Ice climbers Chris Jensen, Will Gadd and Peter Hoang made history

New Coast Guard ship crashes into breakwater in Victoria

‘It is fairly unprecedented that it would happen’

Most Read