With both an SIJHL championship and a Dudley-Hewitt Cup title on their minds, the Fort Frances Lakers have made some moves to bolster the team for the stretch run of the season.
In the first of three transactions on Friday, which also was the CJHL's annual trade deadline, the Lakers announced that they had signed local forward Brett Hahkala for the remainder of the season.
The 20-year-old led the Lakers in scoring last year with 22 goals and 28 assists in 46 games and his veteran leadership will be relied upon down the stretch.
“Brett brings a wealth of experience back to our team,” Lakers' head coach and general manager Wayne Strachan lauded.
"He has won championships and played in the Dudley-Hewitt Cup, which will become huge for our team down the stretch and into the playoffs.
“He can be a good leader for us and has offensive abilities to add to our forward core. We are excited to have Brett back,” he added.
Strachan also announced that the Lakers had acquired forward Peyton Hughes from the L/A Nordiques of the NA3HL.
In 29 games with the Nordiques this season, Hughes racked up an astounding 20 goals and 30 assists and Strachan is more than happy to have him aboard.
“Peyton played last season in the OJHL and CCHL and we are happy to add his two-way play to our lineup,” Strachan said of the 19-year-old Northridge, Calif. native.
“He was putting up points in bunches with the Nordiques this season and brings experience from playing in two very good leagues last season. We welcome Peyton to our program and look forward to getting him in a Lakers uniform.”
And in the final transaction, the Lakers announced that they had traded goalie Dylan Kosik to the Thunder Bay North Stars for a player development fee.
In 12 games with Fort Frances, 18-year-old Montreal native compiled a 3.91 GAA to go along with a .892 save percentage.
The Lakers, who currently sit fifth in the SIJHL with a 13-16-2 record, will resume second-half SIJHL action tonight when they hit the road to take on the last-place expansion Wisconsin Lumberjacks (10-21-2-1).
Fort Frances then will host the league-leading North Stars (22-9-3) on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Ice For Kids Arena before wrapping the week up with another road game the following night against the second-place Red Lake Miners (19-10-3-1 heading into last night).