Smoke Eaters add forward, prep for Vees on weekend

Trail Smoke Eaters add Energy forward in Matthew Osadick, more moves pending

Matt Osadick

With the January 10 trade deadline imminent, the Trail Smoke Eaters are making moves.

The Smoke Eaters acquired 19-year-old forward Matt Osadick from the Merritt Centennials on Tuesday for future considerations. Smokies forward Tyler Ghirardosi is on the injured reserve list for the next month, so Trail took the opportunity to sign an extra skater before the deadline.

Osadick, a native of Grande Pointe, Man., is in his first BCHL season and has played 36 games with the Cents, scoring three goals and eight points. More notably, Osadick is second in the BCHL standings for Energy Player of the Game wins, with five.

Prior to making the jump to the BCHL, Osadick spent two seasons in the MJHL with the Swan Valley Stampeders, amassing 104 points in 99 games, and playing for Team Canada West in last year’s World Junior A Challenge. Osadick comes to Trail with a University of Maine commitment for 2020-21.

“We’re thrilled to add another veteran player in Mathew Osadick,” Smoke Eaters coach and GM Jeff Tambellini said in a release. “Matt has outstanding speed and will be a great fit with our forward group. His past success in the playoffs and his selection to Canada West in the World Junior A tournament were both major reasons we felt he would be a great addition to our roster.”

The deal comes ahead of this Friday’s Jan. 10th CJHL trade deadline, which requires all Canadian junior hockey teams to complete their roster moves by 3 p.m. Friday afternoon.

The Smoke Eaters are six points back of the Penticton Vees for first place in the Interior Division and hockey and business director Craig Clare said that there will be more Smokies moves before the deadline is done.

“There probably will have to be,” said Clare. “The only reason we could do it right now is because we have Ghirardosi on the IR, so at some point something will have to be done, we just don’t know what it is yet.”

Osadick is expected to join the team immediately and should be available this weekend when the Smoke Eaters host the Penticton Vees on Friday night for World Championship weekend.

“This is a good opportunity to see where we’re at, from even the start of the year,” said Clare. “This will give us an opportunity to see if we can make a push for first place.”

Trail plays a home-and-home with Penticton in what is their final two regular-season games against the division rival. Both teams will pay homage to their World Championship teams starting on Friday at the Cominco Arena.

The Vees will sport vintage jerseys from the 1955 season when they defeated the Soviet Union to capture the World Championship, while the Smoke Eaters will don sweaters from the 1963 team that wore the maple leaf at the World Championships.

The puck drop for the Smokies game Friday goes at 7 p.m. at the Cominco Arena.

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