Noah Lugli and Zach Russell were acquired by the Salmon Arm Silverbacks following the completion of separate trades with the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Bonnyville Pontiacs and Fort McMurray Oil Barons. (File photo)

Silverbacks add experienced defence, forward to roster

Trades made with emphasis on adding veteran players to 2019-20 lineup

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks have added two Alberta players to the team for the 2019-20 BCHL season.

Veteran defenceman Noah Lugli and 20-year-old forward Zach Russell were acquired following the completion of separate trades with the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Bonnyville Pontiacs and Fort McMurray Oil Barons.

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The Silverbacks received Lugli, a towering 6-foot-5 defenceman, from the Pontiacs in exchange for forwards Hudson Schandor and Tyson Gayfer.

Lugli recorded 17 points last season in 57 games for Bonnyville, while adding 178 penalty minutes, which ranked seventh in the AJHL. In 2017-18, the Toronto, Ont. native split his time between the North American Hockey League’s Minnesota Magicians and the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Wellington Dukes. While playing with these teams he won the Frank L. Buckland Trophy as league champions and the Dudley Hewitt Cup as the Central Canadian Junior A champions.

“These moves were made in an effort to bring in two veteran players with proven track records and significant playoff experience,” said Silverbacks head coach and general manager Scott Atkinson. “We gave up three very good players to acquire two very good players who will help us in specific areas of need.”

The club acquired the CJHL playing rights of Zach Russell from the Oil Barons in exchange for recently acquired forward Michael Hodge, who was sent to Salmon Arm last week in a separate three-team trade with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs and Merritt Centennials.

Russell, a bulky forward from Calgary, Alta. brings Western Hockey League experience with him, as he suited up in 29 games last season for the Edmonton Oil Kings. Russell tallied six points in those 29 regular season games and added three more in seven playoff contests. In the 2017-18 season, Russell spent most of his time in the AJHL with the Calgary Canucks, where he scored 16 goals and added 20 assists for 36 points in 43 games. He also added 212 penalty minutes, which ranked fourth in the AJHL.

Read more: Silverbacks add imposing defenceman, speedy forward to roster

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The Silverbacks will kick things off the 2019-20 regular season at home with a 3 p.m. matinee on Sunday, September 8 against the West Kelowna Warriors.


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