Photo Credit: Garrett James
The Merritt Centennials continue to complete trades from the January deadline, but in this case they’ve made an additional move. The Centennials received forward Tyler Schleppe (01) from the Coquitlam Express as future considerations of the deal that saw defender Joey Berkopec (99) depart from the Cents. In addition, the Cents have traded Schleppe to the Nanaimo Clippers in exchange for forward Brandon Dent (01) and forward Zack Dallazana (00).
Dent, a 5’7, 150 pound, left shot, skilled forward will be entering his 3rd BCHL season after having spent time with the West Kelowna Warriors and the Nanaimo Clippers over the last two seasons. This last season, Dent was able to put up 11 goals and 10 assists in 28 games with the Warriors before joining the Clippers where he played a reduced role. In Nanaimo, he was able to put up 2 goals and 3 assists over 21 games. The Prince George native does have a scoring touch as evidenced by his time with his home town Cariboo Cougars in 2017-18, where he put up 24 goals and 59 points in 40 games in Major Midget.
Dallazana brings some sandpaper and leadership to the group. the 6’1, 187 pound forward from Port Moody, BC has played two full seasons in Nanaimo. With the Clippers last season he scored a goal and added 6 helpers through 46 games, and in 2018-19 had 2 assists over 48 games.
Head Coach and GM Derek Sweet Coulter says the move gives the Cents two different styles to the line up.
“Brandon is a highly skilled, speedy play maker and goal scorer who will provide offence for us next season. He competes hard and can play with a physical edge as well. Zack is a great person who has a tremendous amount of experience and will provide a veteran presence in the room with leadership capability. He plays a hard physical game and competes for the middle of the ice. We are extremely excited to add both players.”
The Cents would like to welcome Brandon, Zack and their families to the organization and the Nicola Valley.