Langley Rivermen trade captain

Langley's James Robinson and Mario Puskarich help defenceman Logan Smith (centre) celebrate Smith's first goal of the season during the Rivermen's 7-4 victory on Dec. 29. Following the trade of captain Thomas Nitsche, Smith has been named team captain.
— image credit: Miranda Gathercole/Langley Times

The Langley Rivermen have added some local talent to the line-up, picking up defenceman Austen Bietenbeck from the Surrey Eagles in exchange for future considerations.

"We have been interested in him right from the get-go," said Langley coach and general manager Bobby Henderson.

"We are excited; he has a ton of upside."

The 6-foot-3, 197-pound Langley native had one assist in 20 games for Surrey.

"He is a big body on the blue-line and has all the tools to become a great player in this league" said associate head coach Jordan Emmerson.

The trade was one of two moves made by the Rivermen as they shipped another defenceman, captain Thomas Nitsche to Penticton for future considerations.

Nitsche has been with Langley since the start of last season.

The North Carolina native had five goals and 21 assists and 101 penalty minutes during his time in Langley. Nitsche is off to Colgate on scholarship next season.

"It was tough moving a guy like Thomas but at the end of the day, we feel we needed to get younger on the blue-line," Emmerson said.

"He is a hard-nosed player and is a guy that was well-liked by his teammates in the dressing room. He will be missed."

Logan Smith has been named the Langley captain.

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