Kings shuffle their deck

A check of the Prince George Spruce Kings roster reveals they now have a Stoley, a Staley and a Stoglin.

Too bad they don't all play together on a forward line.

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On Wednesday the Spruce Kings announced they've added 18-year-old defenceman Alex Stoley to their BCHL roster. Stoley, a native of Manteca, Calif., has been with the Kings since training camp.

"Alex is a very skilled hockey player who has the tools to be a very productive defenceman at our level," said Spruce Kings general manager Mike Hawes. "He came to training camp with no promises but hoping to make our team and has excelled when given the opportunity. He has earned the right to be on our team and I look forward to watching him grow as a player every day."

Stoley, who participated in the Spruce Kings' last two spring camps, played last season for the Golden State double-A midget Eagles of the California Amateur Hockey Association, where he was coached by longtime Kings scout Mike Holmes.

Stoley's addition to the roster leaves the Kings with five American-born players, including forwards Chad Staley (Kennewick, Wash.), Rider Stoglin (Littleton, Colo.), Jeremiah Luedtke (Lynnwood, Wash.) and defenceman Matthew Stief (Weston, Fla.).

Also on Wednesday, the Kings announced they've added 18-year-old forward Cooper Leitch. Leitch and Stief played together last season for the Belle Tire Tier 1 midget team based in Detroit. In 36 games with the team, Leitch picked up eight goals, 12 assists and 54 penalty minutes. The six-foot-two, 215-pound native of London, Ont., was recruited to the BCHL this season by the Langley Rivermen, who just released him

"Cooper is a big player who skates well and shoots the puck very well,'" said Hawes. "He is a skilled player who will add more size and strength to our forward group."

The Kings released 18-year-old defenceman Jake McCarthy, who will return to his home in Massachusetts to play for a junior team in the U.S. Premier Hockey League. McCarthy separated his shoulder in training camp and missed the Spruce Kings' opening weekend at the BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack, where they picked up wins over Nanaimo and Alberni Valley.

The Kings are preparing for a three-game trip this weekend. They play the Express in Coquitlam Friday night and Sunday afternoon and visit the Surrey Eagles Saturday night.

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