The Prince Albert Raiders traded their former starting goaltender on Monday in an effort to get younger at the backup position.
Cole Holowenko, 19, started 47 games for the club last season, posting a 3.98 goals against average and a save percentage of .890. He was sent to the Everett Silvertips in exchange for 18-year-old goaltender Andy Desautels and 19-year-old defenceman Evan Morden.
The play of 20-year-old goaltender Luke Siemens, who the club picked up from the Moose Jaw Warriors in the off-season, was a key reason for the deal.
“It was going to be difficult for Cole to get the number of starts that he was probably going to want or need,” Raiders GM Bruno Campese said. “Because of his age too it was a place that we thought we needed to make a move at.”
Desautels posted a 3.64 goals against average and a .899 save percentage in 25 games with the Flin Flon Bombers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League last season.
Campese likes what he sees from the 6’3”, 180-pound White City product, who was the 95th pick in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft.
“Coming up through the ranks in minor hockey, he’s always been highly touted,” Campese says. “I think he just needs an opportunity, to be quite honest. Fundamentally he’s good, he’s big, he’s got 25 games of Junior A experience.
“He’s not coming straight out of midget. He’s dealt with older players.”
The Raiders also have Saskatoon goaltender Rylan Parenteau in camp, the 53rd pick overall in the 2011 Bantam Draft. Parenteau, who turns 16 in November, has played 58 minutes in two preseason games.
With either one of the goaltenders, the Raiders get younger in the backup position.
“We’re bringing in an 18-year-old,” Campese says. “We’ll see how that bears out and then we’ll make a decision on Rylan very quickly.”
In Morden, the Raiders pick up a Swan River, Man., product who has played 108 regular season games and eight playoff games, with career totals of four goals and seven assists.
He was selected 141st overall in the 2008 Bantam Draft.
“He has a physical stature to him, so he brings that to our lineup, which I think is important and he brings two years of experience,” Campese says. “We know what type of player he is. He’s not a flash-and-dash guy. We don’t expect him to be a (Josh) Morrissey or (Zach) Hodder-type guy. We’re just looking for him to be a steady, in-your-face type of guy.”
Holowenko, of Penticton, B.C., was acquired from the Chilliwack Bruins on Nov. 30, 2010 for then 18-year-old defenceman Emerson Hrynyk, who was no longer in the league last season.