Another Maple Ridge hockey player has arrived in the NHL.
Vic Bartley was called up from the farm team to play with the Nashville Predators over the weekend as they took on the Edmonton Oilers and Minnesota Wild.
The Preds had been in a 1-5-0 slump, and decided it was time for a roster shakeup.
Coach Barry Trotz said Bartley could have made the team right out of training camp, but Nashville went in a different direction.
The shakeup worked, as the Nashville broke their losing streak with a 6-0 win over Edmonton Friday, and then got a point in a shootout loss to Minnesota on Saturday.
Bartley played a regular shift, didn’t get a point, and was an even on plus/minus.
The 25-year-old has been a standout for the Milwaukee admirals, leading defencemen with 26 points (seven goals, 19 assists) in 54 games, earning a spot on the AHL all-star team.
Bartley played junior hockey with the Kamloops Blazers and the Regina Pats, then started his pro career by splitting the season between the ECHL Utah Grizzles and AHL Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2009-2010.
The next season he played in Sweden with the Rogle BK outfit, and put up 34 points in 52 games – which was the second highest output for a defenceman.
He signed as a free agent with the Preds organization in 2011, and was ready for his first full season as a pro in North America. He established himself as a bona fide prospect when he finished 10th among AHL defencemen in points, with 39 in 76 games. He also has good size, at six feet and 212 pounds.
The number of local kids playing in the NHL is impressive.
Bartley is a teammate of Maple Ridge product Brandon Yip, who has played parts of four season in the NHL.
Another local player, defenceman Patrick Wiercioch has stuck as a regular with the Ottawa Senators this season, and has eight points (two goals, six assists) in 21 games.
And Maple Ridge’s Andrew Ladd just keeps getting better, averaging almost a point a game as the captain of the Winnipeg Jets, with 24 points (13 goals, 11 assists) in 25 games.
Two more Maple Ridge products are in the AHL. Brett Sonne of the Peoria Rivermen and Brad Hunt of the Chicago Wolves are still looking for their first game in The Show.
After a career that spanned 934 games, Pitt Meadow native Brendan Morrison is still looking for work, and the 37-year-old said after helping to negotiate the latest NHL collective bargaining agreement that he wants to play. He split last season between the Calgary Flames and Chicago Blackhawks.