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Ridge Meadows Flame gets called up to BCHL

As originally posted by Neil Corbett at Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News

Maple Ridge defenceman Adam Leitch has been called up to the BCHL Prince George Spruce Kings for the balance of the 2021-2022 hockey season.

Leitch had been playing with his hometown Ridge Meadows Flames, and had put up 16 points in 19 games in the Pacific Junior Hockey League.

Before becoming a standout in Junior B, the prospect had laced up for four games with the Victoria Grizzlies. Now he has been given a chance to show he can play at the next level.

“As we approached the Jan. 10 deadline, I wanted to add a good young defenseman to our team. Adam Leitch is a very good young defenseman who is having a tremendous season for the Ridge Meadows Flames, said Spruce Kings GM Mike Hawes.

“Ridge Meadows is a great organization that has done a terrific job in assisting Adam with his development. We’re excited to add Adam to our team.”

Prior to his time in Ridge Meadows, Leitch was a member of the Burnaby Winter Club program in the 2019-20 season of the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL).

Flames GM Derek Bedard allows that his roster loses a great defenceman late in the season, but said everyone is happy to see a player moving up.

“It’s bittersweet, but obviously I’m thrilled for Adam, and the opportunity this gives him,” said Bedard. “He’s one of the best kids I’ve had the good fortune of being around. He’s got a real professionalism about him.”

He said Leitch has great offensive instincts, is a slick passer, has strong skating, and is “the full package.”

“I have no doubt he’s going to maximize his opportunity.”

Bedard didn’t want to say where Leitch skated on his blueline pecking order – top pair or otherwise.

“We’ve blessed with a very solid defensive corps, and as a 17-year-old he was up there,” he said. “We’re working on some solutions to fill that spot.

Based on his recent work in that regard, Flames boosters should be optimistic.

• New Goaltender: Flames goaltender Elliott Marshall suffered an injury, and a timeline for his return is hard to determine. With a roster that could do some damage in the playoffs, Bedard said the team couldn’t afford to continue through the season with just one bona fide goaltender.

“We feel really confident in this team,” said Bedard.

So the Flames have acquired Caniel Zuvic from the White Rock Whalers, whose 12 wins has him tied for second in the PJHL in wins with his new teammate Cam Connolly. He also has a .907 save percentage, and 2.99 goals against average.

Zuvic, a 20-year-old, from Maple Ridge. He has also played for the Abbotsford Pilots and Mission City Outlaws over his four seasons in the league. He now joins his hometown team as they enjoy one of their best seasons in years.

Zuvic was acquired in a straight cash transaction with no player assets, and only a development fee, going the other way.

The Flames had both of their Friday and Sunday games cancelled, as COVID-19 hit their opponents’ rosters. But the local club has been fortunate in dodging the same fate so far, and are scheduled to take on the Kodiaks in Aldergrove on Wednesday night.

Their next home game will be Friday night, when they host the Chilliwack Jets at 7:30 p.m. at Cam Neely Arena.