Defenceman Colton Kitchen five points in 23 games for the Grizzlies last season.
Photograph By DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST
Brian Drewry / Times Colonist
JUNE 8, 2020 08:28 PM
The Victoria Grizzlies made three moves last week to improve their forward group.
This week, Grizzlies’ general manager and head coach Craig Didmon has turned his attention to his blue line. On Monday, the Grizzlies sent 19-year-old defenceman Colton Kitchen to the Nanaimo Clippers for future considerations.
“We are strong on left-side defencemen this coming season and Colton is a 19-year-old who needs to be in the lineup every night and we couldn’t guarantee him that,” said Didmon. “This keeps him in B.C. and gives him a good shot at playing every day.”
The move leaves the Grizzlies with five returning defencemen — Isaac Bandu, Reid Lindsay, Brady MacDonald, Chace Oliver and Jake Veillueux — so Didmon will likely be on the lookout for a couple of right-handed shooting blue-liners in the coming days.
Kitchen played 23 regular-season games for the Grizzlies this past season after coming over from the Penticton Vees in late November in a trade that saw Darwin Lakoduk head to the Vees. The six-foot-one, 181-pound blue-liner, who hails from Prince George, registered five points. He also dressed for two playoff games as the Grizzlies were swept in the first round by the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
Kitchen began his BCHL career with the Chilliwack Chiefs in 2018, before making a brief stop in Nanaimo for one game at the start of last season, and then being moved to Penticton.
Being an Island rival, the Clippers got to know Kitchen well, and they liked what they saw.
“Colton was a player, whom when watching him play against us last season, really caught my eye,” Clippers head coach Darren Naylor said in a statement.
“He is a mobile defenceman and reads the layers well. He has a great attitude and is liked by his teammates. I believe he will be a key part of our defensive core this year.”
The Grizzlies are tentatively set to open training camp on Sept. 1.
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