CANMORE – The Canmore Eagles inked forward Reed Jacobson and defenceman Ryan Nolan, two former WHL players, after forward Carter Myrol retired from hockey and defenceman Dylan Bidyk requested a trade earlier this week.
“It was shocking to me,” said head coach and general manager Andrew Milne. “[Myrol] went through the details and wasn’t enjoying the opportunity to play ... He said to me it wasn’t fair to the other guys if he was kind of going through the motions and not playing to the best of his abilities.”
Myrol was traded to the Eagles in 2020 for Max Giangualano and Carter Coles in a package deal that included Zach Cunningham and Lukas Jirousek from the Grande Prairie Storm.
In 67 games with Canmore, Myrol had 15 goals and 29 points, including one goal and three assists this season.
Milne said that the timing of Myrol’s retirement was “not great”, as the speedy forward was chosen by the club as part of this year’s 20-year-old core – only six players max – resulting in fellow 20-year-old and odd-man out, forward Isaac Suppin, being traded to the Drayton Valley Thunder on Sept. 18 along with defenceman Austin Lusok.
“He sort of commented on the situation because now was the time for him because he didn’t want to stop someone else from having an opportunity,” said Milne, adding Myrol is pursuing school.
Bidyk will not play until he is traded.
According to Milne, the 17-year-old blueliner asked to be moved because he wanted a bigger role on the club, specifically on the power play.
“From what I was told, he was just looking for more of an opportunity to play than we gave him,” said Milne.
“You always get those transactions when players want to move on and are maybe unhappy with the current situation, that’s sort of standard in the game.”
Bidyk committed to the Eagles in 2021. He played 41 regular season games and 11 playoff games with the club.
With the season underway, the Eagles wasted no time and signed Jacobson and Nolan, who were released from their former clubs and were looking for opportunities.
Nolan, 18, a six-foot lefty from Calgary, played last season for the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades and Medicine Hat Tigers, scoring one goal and four points with a -2 rating.
On top of his skating abilities, Nolan said he's a big teammate guy and brings an experienced voice to the locker room.
"I'm a team-first kind of guy," said Nolan. "I like to be kind of the jokester on the team, but when it comes to game time, I dial it in."
Milne added: “For [Nolan], it might just take him just a little bit just to get into the swing of things, but I think once he does, we’re going to find he’s going to be a real dependable guy who we rely on in all situations.”
Before joining the Eagles, Jacobson, 20, a five-foot-10 lefty from Swift Current, Sask., played in 114 games for the Spokane Chiefs and Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL, scoring 12 goals and 33 points.
“I think the good news is he’s experienced,” said Milne about Jacobson. “On the other side, he’s offensively gifted and I think he lost a little bit of it in the Western league and I think he’s going to find that back with us.”
Both players are expected to debut Friday (Oct. 7) at home against the Drumheller Dragons. Puck drop is 7 p.m.
The Eagles (3-4-1) played in back-to-back overtime games at the annual AJHL showcase last Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 1-2), defeating Grande Prairie 4-3, and losing 3-2 to the Lloydminster Bobcats.