Travis St. Denis’ travels are finally over.
Although the Trail native has been spending the summer at home, his hockey talents have been shopped across the province, down to the U.S. and finally landed in the Okanagan.
The Penticton Vees announced on Monday that they have acquired the rights to the 18-year Rossland-Trail Minor Hockey Association product from the Cowichan Valley Capitals.
The roundabout trade saw the Vees send another former Smokie, forward Mike Betz, to the Markham Waxers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League in exchange for forward Brandon Tanev.
They then turned around and sent Tanev and centre Steven Iacobellis to the Cowichan Valley Capitals for St. Denis.
“Travis proved to be a big-time player last year, scoring 31 points in 28 games. He played against the top four teams in the Interior Conference,” Vees head coach and general manager Fred Harbinson told the Penticton Western News this week.
“It is always difficult when you trade players, but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have Travis in our uniform.”
The trade ended a hectic off-season, which began when St. Denis was traded from Trail to the Capitals.
St. Denis admitted he didn’t want to go to Cowichan Valley, which led to the deal with Penticton.
“I’m very happy to be going there,” said St. Denis on Wednesday. “It’s a lot off my shoulders.”
He said initial trade request had nothing to do with the Smoke eaters organization.
“I just wanted to move away from home and experience that part of it before I go off to school,” he explained.
However, landing in Penticton and facing the Smokies, the team he has cheered and played for his entire life, is going to be different.
“It’s definitely going to be weird playing against Trail.”
St. Denis had 54 points in 42 games last season in Trail and another five goals in seven playoff games. In his 164-game career in a Smokies uniform he collected 146 points.