The Penticton Vees have dealt defenceman David Eccles (96) to the Nanaimo Clippers for future considerations, the team announced Wednesday.
The Vees were forced to make the move with fellow 20-year-old defenceman Gabe Bast coming off the injured reserve; the team was sitting at seven 20-year-olds on their roster, one over the BCHL maximum. Vees coach-general manager Fred Harbinson said in a team statement it was a hard move to make.
“This was an extremely difficult decision, but it ultimately came down to a numbers game,” said Harbinson. “David is a tremendous young man, who will be missed but we’re happy we can send him to a great organization in the Clippers. I know Mike Vandekamp is thrilled to have a player of his quality and character, and I know he’ll be a key piece for them moving forward.”
Eccles, 20, played parts of two seasons in Penticton, appearing in 73 career regular season games, picking up a pair of goals and 13 points to go along with 23 penalty-minutes playing in a primary shutdown role. He also played in all 11 of the Vees’ playoff games last spring. The Ancaster, Ont., product came to Penticton in September of last season after playing with the Carleton Place Canadians in the Central Canadian Hockey League (CCHL). Eccles helped the Canadians to a berth in the final of the 2015 RBC Cup in Portage, Man. The Vees thanked Eccles for his contributions to the team on and off the ice.