The Elmira Sugar Kings mixed up their defensive ranks over the holidays, trading two of their defensemen to Cambridge in exchange for two of theirs.
Mitch Montgomery and Harlen VanWynsberghe left the Kings fold and were replaced by Winter Hawks Kalob Witzell and Beau Goehrum.
Montgomery also played for the Kings last season and was signed to them in 2014. He previously played minor midget in Cambridge. He had three goals and 13 assists this season, two of said goals were game winning goals.
VanWynsberghe moved up to the Kings last fall, after playing with the Junior C Norwich Merchants in the 2014-15 season.
This is Witzell’s last season of Junior B hockey, as he’ll age out this year. This was his third season with Cambridge before the trade to Elmira.
Goehrum started last season with the Brampton Bombers before being traded to Cambridge. He also played in the Junior A circuit for the Toronto Lakeshore Patriots for part of the 2013-14 season.
The new additions had their first games as Sugar Kings last weekend, and so far head coach Ty Canal is pleased.
“The two guys came in and played well for us. They hadn’t practiced with us yet, so it was really throwing them into the fire and they responded well. They played together, which was probably a calming factor for them as well. They’re two defensemen who’ve played in this league for awhile, and they’re good. We’ve played against them and our guys have played against them for a few years now, so they came in, played well, they definitely did what we expected to do and we’re looking forward to it,” Canal said.
Witzell had one goal and six assists with the Winter Hawks this season before being traded, and earned one assist for the Kings so far. He had four goals and four assists the previous season.
Goehrum totaled four goals and four assists with Cambridge this season. Last season he earned three assists with Cambridge and one goal and two assists with Brampton.
“They’re good kids. We sat down for a little bit and talked to them once everything was made, to sort of get them all on the same page that we had hoped and they responded well to it. They’re great kids that want to get better and they want to learn and they want to be a part of the team and they’ll definitely help us in that avenue as well. Any time you can get some veteran players on the backend, it’s a nice added bonus,” Canal said.