Trade deadline day delivered a shocker to some Grande Prairie Storm fans. The team confirmed Thursday that both Walker and Cruz Coté are heading away from the city.
Cruz was first traded to the Penticton Vees of the B.C. Hockey League in exchange for defenceman Jarin Sutton, and was then moved to the Cowichan Valley Capitals as part of another deal. The 19-year-old forward had notched 55 points in 172 games with the Storm.
Cruz’s brother Walker is meanwhile heading to the Nipawin Hawks of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League in exchange for future considerations. The 20-year-old defenceman recorded five goals and 21 assists in just under three seasons with the team.
The Cotés hail from Falher and largely honed their craft in the Grande Peace Athletic Club. Recently, the brothers represented the community as torchbearers for the MNP Canada Games Torch Relay in Grande Prairie. In a release, the Storm club says they have been instrumental pieces in the success of the team on and off the ice.
“The Storm would like to wish them both future success in their hockey endeavours and extend a sincere thank you to their [contributions] in the community and on the ice.”
Reaction to the news on social media has been mixed, with some fans unhappy to see them leave and others wishing them well.