Basilico brings size, skill to Kings

Bryan Basilico was at home in Macomb, Mich., a suburb of Detroit, when he received word Friday he was about to return to the B.C. Hockey League.

The 20-year-old forward, who spent the last two seasons with the Trail Smoke Eaters, was acquired by the Prince George Spruce Kings in exchange for future considerations.

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Basilico packed his bags, made the necessary travel arrangements, and arrived in Prince George Monday night.

The six-foot-three, 205-pound forward was on Coliseum ice Tuesday afternoon for practice with his new team.

"I hope to bring a big, physical presence and do all my talking on the scoreboard, on offence," he said Tuesday. "I wasn't too sure what to think (when I found out I was traded). I'd only been here once last year and don't remember too much, just coming to the game, to the rink. (I'm) excited to be back in the BCHL. It's a good league. Every team you play is pretty good. Being far from home, it's still nice living up here."

In 99 games with Trail, he tallied 28 goals and 38 assists.

Prior to his foray into the BCHL, Basilico spent three years in the U.S. Hockey League with the Sioux Falls Stampede, Des Moines Buccaneers and the Green Bay Gamblers. He is currently committed to playing NCAA Division 1 hockey in 2016 for Lake Superior State.

Most recently, his road back to the BCHL went through Chicago and Russia.

Playing closer to home, he spent the early part of this season in August playing for the Chicago Steel, a USHL Tier 1 junior A hockey team that competed in the Junior Club World Championships in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

The Steel edged the Russians 3-2 to win the bronze medal.

"Playing in the USHL was good, it's fast and physical," Basilico said. "In Russia it was cool to play against some European teams with a different style of play."

Spruce Kings general manager Mike Hawes is confident Basilico can put up some good numbers in his last season of junior eligibility.

"He will add some size, strength and scoring to our forward group which is something we've been lacking so far this season," said Hawes. "His leadership abilities and veteran presence will also be a nice addition to our room."

The 1-4-0-1 Kings picked up three out of a possible four points at the BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack last weekend. They beat Trail 6-3 Saturday for their first victory of the season and dropped a 2-1 double overtime decision to Victoria on Sunday.

Prince George hosts the 3-1-0-1 Cowichan Valley Capitals Friday and the Penticton Vees (5-1) Saturday. The puck drops at 7 p.m. at the Coliseum on both nights.

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