Sports

Rivermen add speed, youth to line-up

The Langley Rivermen have added a pair of players to the mix as they look to make a second-half run into the postseason.

The junior A hockey club signed defenceman Tanner Johnson and forward Marco Romano.

Both players come to the BCHL from their respective junior B hockey clubs.

Johnson, 17,  was having a fantastic rookie season with the Castlegar Rebels of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League with six goals and nine assists in 25 games.

"He is a young defenceman and has shown that he had a ton of upside and already I think he has developed into a pretty good offensive defenceman," said Langley head coach and general manager Bobby Henderson.

"Tanner is a responsible player with a ton of offensive flair," Henderson added.

"He has tremendous stick skills and can really skate and sees the ice really well.

"Right now, we are just trying to groom him into becoming another weapon back on the point."

The Castlegar native is still growing at six-foot-one and 175 pounds.

Romano is five-foot-nine and 165 pounds and spent training camp with the Rivermen before playing junior B with the North Delta Devils, where he had nine goals and nine assists in 23 games.

"Marco can be defined with one word and that is speed," said Henderson. "We believe he will create a lot of opportunities with his skating ability and that always is an added bonus to your line-up."

Henderson said the Rivermen have been monitoring the Burnaby native's play since training camp through North Delta coach John Craighead.

"He has continued to improve in all areas in his game and we feel he will be a good fit on the roster," Henderson said.

The team had also added forward Nathan Craft and defenceman Ryan Fraser-Lee the previous week.

To make room for the new additions, Langley had to release a trio of players — Tanner Clarkson, Tyler Vanscourt and Ben Grenier.

"I think our roster has evolved in the past week a little bit," Henderson said.

"We got younger and we added some more speed to our line-up."

The team is on the road this weekend before returning home for a three-game home stand prior to the holiday break.

The Rivermen will host the Coquitlam Express (Dec. 14), the Chilliwack Chiefs (Dec. 15) and the Powell River Kings (Dec. 16) at the Langley Events Centre.

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