This week the Virden Oil Capitals made a big trade this week featuring two local products.
Announced on Monday, the Oil Caps sent homegrown star Tanner Andrew, a 20-year-old forward, to their Manitoba Junior Hockey League foe the Winkler Flyers for Virden’s own Grady Lane, a talented 17-year-old forward, and 18-year-old forward Calder Anderson of Brandon. The Virden squad also receives a second-round pick in the 2021 MJHL Bantam Draft.
The deal officially brings to a close the Oil Caps career of the elder son of Brock and Andrea Andrew. He played more than two seasons for his hometown squad and earned MJHL Second Team All-Star honours last season. Andrew was second on the team in goals (25) and points (55). Hunter Cloutier and Kolten Kanaski each racked up 29 goals and 65 points last season.
“Being an Oil Capital was a dream come true and an amazing experience as a hometown boy,” Andrew, whose young brother Hunter is an Oil Cap, told this reporter. “Playing junior hockey in your hometown is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m glad I was able to do it in Virden.”
He and the Oil Caps has expected him to have played his final junior game last spring when the COVID-19 pandemic brought the MJHL playoffs to a sudden end. Andrew had committed to play NCAA Division hockey at the Rochester Institute of Technology. However, with the pandemic, Andrew said the coaches at the Henrietta, N.Y. school suggested another season of junior hockey. He plans to start his college career in the fall of 2021. Virden head coach Tyson Ramsey said that Andrew had requested to play his final junior campaign “away from home” and the team thanks “Tanner for his contribution while he was an Oil Cap and wish him well in Winkler.”
“I’m very excited to get to Winkler and start a new path in life and learn new things along with being a leader on the team and getting back to playing hockey,” the 5-foot-9, 170-pound Andrew said
The Oil Capitals were very pleased to acquire the Junior A rights to the son of Craig and Stacey Lane. A media release on the team’s website stated the 6-foot-2, 190-pounder “brings grit, toughness and character.” Lane’s major junior rights are owned by the Western Hockey League’s Spokane (Wash.) Chiefs and he is expected to attend camp with that club. In August, the WHL announced it was adjusting its regular season start date to Dec. 4 and was in discussion with authorities on various key issues, including border crossings.
Of adding Lane, Ramsey said on the team’s website: “Not only is he a local guy but he is also a great player who brings so many things to our team. His work ethic and character are second to none and he has the ability to make an impact in any type of game. We certainly understand that he has an opportunity in the WHL with Spokane but if he is going to play in the MJHL, we want it to be here in his hometown with us.”
In a standout 16-year-old season with the Flyers, Lane had four goals and 21 points. He accumulated a team-high 126 penalty minutes in 48 contests. Lane suited up in one game for Spokane. On social media, the Flyers said, “we want to thank Grady for his time spent in Winkler and we wish him all the best in the upcoming season.”
In Anderson, the Oil Capitals have acquired a player Ramsey knows well. The Virden bench boss coached the forward on the Brandon U18 Wheat Kings. Last season the 5-foot-9, 169-pound Anderson had four goals and 10 points in 62 games as a rookie for the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors.
“Calder is a player that we understand we may not have a chance to see here until he is 20 but if we ever do see the return it will be a big one,” Ramsey said on the Oil Caps site. “He is an excellent player with a very high hockey IQ and tremendous character. He is someone I have experience coaching and love what he brings to any team he has played on. Calder is a very intelligent player that can play in any situation.”
The team was also pleased to obtain a second-round pick in what head scout Brian Elder believes is a deep draft class. On the Virden team’s website, Elder said “The top two rounds will be full of great prospects and to have three picks in those two rounds puts our organization in a good spot.”