Merritt-Brooks Trade:

The Merritt Centennials made their first trade of the 2012-13 season on Wednesday and now West Kelowna is the lone team in the BCHL’s Interior Division to not make a deal thus far this season.

The Cents moved 19-year-old forward Brandon Bruce to the AJHL’s Brooks Bandits in exchange for 18-year-old forward Sam Johnson and future considerations.

Bruce is a tenacious, hard-working player who should become a fan favourite in Brooks on a team that is a definite RBC Cup contender this season.
I‘ll admit that I don’t know anything about Johnson, so it’ll be interesting to see what experience he brings to Merritt from a season and a half of hockey with an outstanding team in the Bandits and his midget numbers indicate that there is some offensive potential there.

To Merritt Centennials:
F Sam Johnson (94)

+ Future Considerations

To Brooks Bandits:
F Brandon Bruce (93)

Here’s the release from the Centennials website:

The Merritt Centennials are pleased to announce the acquisition of forward Sam Johnson (94) and future considerations from the Brooks Bandits of the AJHL in exchange for forward Brandon Bruce (93).

Johnson, who’s from Okotoks, Alberta, had 4 goals and 1 assist in 20 games with Brooks this season. He notched 4 goals and 2 assists in 39 games as a rookie with the Bandits last season. Johnson also got into two playoff games as Brooks advanced to the BC-Alberta Doyle Cup championship series. He played with the UFA Bisons Midget AAA team out of Strathmore, Alberta in 2010-11, registering 23 goals and 16 assists in 34 games as a 16-year-old.

“We are excited to add a player like Sam who showed tremendous offensive potential at the midget level,” said Cents GM & Head Coach Luke Pierce. “He’s been on arguably the best team in Canada for the past season and a half and we feel maybe hasn’t been given the opportunity to show his best.”

“We look forward to having Sam join our team in the coming days and working with him to become a valuable member of our hockey club,” Pierce added.

“Brandon Bruce was instrumental in our success last year and his energy and intensity make him a very popular player from a fan perspective, Pierce continued. “His speed and tenacity will be missed but we believe there are individuals here who can make up for that.

“It’s unfortunate this season didn’t play out the way we hoped for Brandon and I’m sure from a personal standpoint, he’d echo those sentiments,” Pierce reflected. “We certainly wish Brandon all the best with Brooks and in his future beyond junior hockey.”

For further information, please contact Cents Head Coach and GM Luke Pierce at 250-378-3607 or email

The Cents next game is Friday, November 30 as they continue their 40th season of junior ‘A’ hockey at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm against the SilverBacks. Game time is 7 pm. Fans can listen to the game on Q101 FM in Merritt or watch online at

Follow the Cents on Twitter at @BCHLCentennials and on

Season tickets are still available for the 2012-13 season. For more information on how to get yours, call the Cents Marketing office at 250-378-3604.

The Merritt Centennials, proudly celebrating 40 seasons as the BCHL’s longest continuously run franchise, are a non-profit, community owned Junior ‘A’ Hockey Club run by a dedicated team of investors, directors, and volunteers.

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