BCJALL Review: New Westminster Salmonbellies
NEW WESTMINSTER SALMONBELLIES
LAST SEASON: 14-7 - 3RD PLACE - LOST IN 1ST ROUND TO VICTORIA
202 GF 174 GA +28 GD
When the dust settled, it wasn’t the Adanacs and New Westminster that were battling it out for BCJALL supremacy, and that will undoubtedly sting the ‘Bellies until they get back on the historic wood floor at QPA. At the same time, it will give them some pause to think about they can re-enter the conversation as true Minto Cup contenders.
They’ll lose a bit of experience across the roster, but one would argue the area they need to improve the most is in the crease. It was a bit of a revolving door after the departure of Erik Kratz, with the club bringing into two imports out of Ontario that never seemed to work out quite like management would have wanted. It wasn’t long before they figured out Brayden Bell wasn’t the solution, and while Kyle Hebert was solid, he was unspectacular. And when you’re wanting to contend for a National Championship, there needs to be top-shelf talent across the board.
With Tre Leclaire moving on, it will be Will Malcom’s team going forward. He incredibly defied expectations in his second season as a ‘Bellie, leading the league in points with 106, including 65 assists. He also proved to be a player who could come up big in the clutch, posting four game-winning goals in the regular season.
Much like Langley, time will tell what kind of club New Westminster will have heading into next season, but with parity dominating much of 2019, moves will need to be made to put this club back over the top.