The Coquitlam Express are on the verge of winning more games this season than they had in the past two years combined, and they helped that bid along with a key acquisition at the BCHL’s recent trade deadline.
The Express landed setup man Ty Westgard, a 20-year-old forward, in a Thursday deal with the Surrey Eagles. Coquitlam also added forward Aaron White, 19, while the Eagles received forward Cole Edgerton, 19, and future considerations.
Westgard, a six-foot, 183-pound right-handed shooting forward, was second in the league last season in assists (55) and tied for second in points (70). The Surrey native was among the league leaders in scoring when he was sidelined in early November with an injury. He returned to Surrey’s lineup earlier this month.
Westgard debuted for Coquitlam Friday night against the visiting Chilliwack Chiefs. He has 10 goals and 34 points in 27 games this season.
Coquitlam, idle on Saturday, are 22-17-2-0 on the year, which was the ninth-best mark in the 17-team circuit as of Saturday morning. They finished 16th last year (15-38-1-0) and 17th in 2016-17 (11-44-1-0).
Surrey carried a league-worst 8-29-1-2 mark this season into a Saturday visit to Chilliwack.
Westgard was the team’s captain this year. He’s played 160 regular-season games with Surrey in his career, spread over six seasons, including a pair as an underage call-up. He’s also tried his hand at the WHL multiple times.
The Penticton Vees also made a deal of note, adding forward Ty Pochipinski, 20, from the Cowichan Valley Capitals as part of a four-team swap.
Pochipinski, a 5-10, 175-pound right-handed shot, had started this season at Colorado College but opted to return to junior after playing just four times in the first half. He had one goal in that span.
Pochipinski had 21 goals and 38 points in 58 games last season with Cowichan Valley.
Vees general manager and coach Fred Harbinson told the Penticton Herald: “Ty is a strong two-way centre who will be a great fit in our locker-room and will bolster the depth of our lineup.”
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