When the Prince George Spruce Kings won the B.C Hockey League championship two seasons ago, they built that winner on the backs of their blueliners.
A stellar defence brought the Spruce Kings their first Fred Page Cup and Doyle Cup championships and they ended up just one win short of a national junior A championship.
Their rebuilding project continued this week with the addition of 2001-born defenceman Zach Gabruch, acquired in a trade from the Wellington Dukes of the Ontario Junior Hockey League in exchange for 2001-born forward Mason Reeves.
Gabruch, a durable six-foot-five, 195-pound native of Saskatoon, is no stranger to the BCHL, having played 56 regular season and four playoff games last season for the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. He finished the season with a goal and four assists and was traded to Wellington June 19.
Gabruch collected 30 points over two seasons with the Saskatoon Blazers of the Saskatchewan Midget Triple-A Hockey League before he came west to Salmon Arm.
“Zach is a good addition for us,” said Kings general manager Mike Hawes. “He’s a big and mobile d-man with a year of experience in our league. He will provide a lot of stability for us on the back end.”
Reeves was acquired in a January deal with the Brooks Bandits which sent winger Ryan McAllister to the Alberta Junior Hockey League team. In 19 games with the Kings Reeves scored three goals.