Thorpe and Miner grew up together in Brandon, Man., And part of the Intel that Giants GM Parneta gathered before negotiating for Thorpe was a positive report from Miner.

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Former Vancouver Giants goaltender Trent Miner received one of the last phone calls from team general manager Barclay Parneta before the club traded for Ty Thorpe this summer, and one of the Thorpe’s first calls after the deal was closed.

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Parneta had been a fan of the game of Thorpe since his minor hockey years. When Parneta was told by rival Brandon Wheat Kings that he might be able to acquire the right shot cross this offseason, he was immediately excited.

One of Parneta’s last steps before signing a trade was to register with Miner, whose four-year run as a Giants goalie ended last spring. Miner and Thorpe grew up together in the Brandon, Manitoba area. They were part of opposing teams that rose through the ranks for a time and were teammates after teammates.

Miner was regularly praised for his character and preparation during his time in Vancouver. When he told Parneta that Thorpe would be suitable for the Giants, it was yet more evidence for Parneta in favor of a trade.

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Vancouver picked up Brandon’s 6-foot, 180-pound Thorpe for a conditional WHL sixth-round pick in 2023, and Thorpe was one of Vancouver’s best players when he started 3-2-0-0. Teams don’t systematically give details of conditional picks in trades, but the sixth round tends to need to be leveled up.

19-year-old Thorpe was in the First Unit’s power play and was one of Vancouver’s top penalty killers. He takes key face-offs. He plays at the last minute when Vancouver keeps a lead and needs a goal.

He also presents himself as one of their leaders. This includes being Jesper Vikman’s accommodation companion and helping the Swedish keeper adjust to life in North America.

“Trent was a character reference,” Parneta explained. “If he had said something negative, it might have put the brakes on things. He said Ty can do what we’re doing here. It confirmed what we had thought.

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When Thorpe called Miner after the exchange, Thorpe stated that Miner “said all the right things and they were right.”

“They demand a high level of excellence here,” Thorpe continued. “They have phenomenal coaching. And you have to come every day ready to work.

Thorpe had already been traded once in the WHL. He was a third-round pick by the Victoria Royals in 2017, but they dealt with him before he even adjusted, sending him to his hometown Wheat Kings on the 2018 trade deadline as part of the trade that brought captain and center Brandon Tanner Kaspick to Vancouver Island.

Thorpe already has three goals and six points for Vancouver. That matches his totals in 21 games last spring with Brandon. He scored six goals and 18 points in 60 games for the Wheat Kings in 2019-20.

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He says he just has more opportunities to play in attacking situations. He has amassed points in the past, including his 15 goals and 33 points in 33 games with the Rink Hockey Academy preparatory team in 2017-18.

“I’m proud of my role defensively and shorthanded. But it’s good, as a veteran player, to expand that role and have the opportunity to play in the first six minutes and on the power play, ”said Thorpe. “Everyone who came into this league was top guys on their Bantam and Midget teams. It is not an easy transition. I remember what it was like trying to make your way through programming. It’s nice to come back to this more attacking game.

Vancouver captain Justin Sourdif calls Thorpe a “very, very underrated player” and then goes one step further, saying Thorpe is “the best 200-footer I’ve seen in a long, long time.”

“I’m glad he has the opportunity to show what he can do with us,” continued Sourdif, a center. “He’s been really good for us. I’m really glad we have it.

Miner, 20, is eligible to be with the Giants this season, but instead plays in the Colorado Avalanche farm system, the team that used a seventh-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft to secure their rights. . He signed a contract with the Avs last May and is currently with their affiliate ECHL Utah Grizzlies.

sewen@postmedia.com

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