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Grizzlies ship veteran blue-liner Somerville to Vees

Brian Drewry / Times Colonist
NOVEMBER 28, 2019 09:49 PM

With an eye on next season, Victoria Grizzlies GM and head coach Craig Didmon pulled off a second trade in as many weeks Thursday with the Penticton Vees.

Didmon sent popular veteran defenceman Nico Somerville to the Interior Division-leading Vees in exchange for 18-year-old defenceman Colton Kitchen and 19-year-old forward Alex DiPaolo.

Somerville had spent his entire Junior A career in Victoria, coming south from Port Alberni as a 16-year-old. He was having his best offensive season, collecting four goals and 18 assists in 30 games, and he recently accepted an NCAA Div. 1 scholarship from American International College to begin play next fall.

Kitchen is a 6-foot-1, 185-pound blue-liner who hails from Prince George and was in his first season in Penticton after the Vees aquired him from the Chilliwack Chiefs last summer. In 14 games this season, Kitchen has one assist. Last season with the Chiefs, Kitchen had nine points in 43 regular-season games and one assist in six playoff games.

DiPaolo, 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, comes west after collecting 10 points in 29 games for the Vees and recently committed to University of Massachusetts-Amherst of the NCAA. The Vees picked up DiPaolo from the Coquitlam Express last June. In one season with the Express, DiPaolo, from Oakville, Ont., racked up 16 goals and 32 assists in 53 games.

“Kitchen is an 18-year-old with a year-and-a-half experience in the BCHL. He plays a structured game and we expect him to contribute right away, plus he’ll be with us for multi years so that made him a key part of the deal,” said Didmon, who also sent veteran forward Darwin Lakoduk to Penticton last week in exchange for 19-year-old winger Vincent Nardone.

“DiPaolo may go to the NCAA next season or he may play for us another season, and he’s a proven scorer who has good size and plays a rugged game.”

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