By Matt Stefano
The Soo Thunderbirds organization is extremely excited to announce the acquisition of Aiden Salerno and Branden Wagner from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks of the BCHL.
Salerno, a 1995 birth year defenceman, who stands 6’3 and 210 lbs, had 1 assist and 8 penalty minutes through 6 games this year with the Silverbacks.
“Aiden is a physical player, imposing defenceman who is going to be counted on to play heavy minutes,” said T-Birds general manager Jamie Henderson. “Aiden brings a lot of experience to the team and will be counted on to play against the league’s top players.”
The Long Beach, New York native also attended New York Islanders development camp after putting up 1 goal and 14 points through 51 games with the OJHL’s Buffalo Jr. Sabres in the 2014-2015 season along with collecting 101 penalty minutes. Salerno, who was one of three players from the OJHL to be invited to an NHL development camp was acquired from the Silverbacks in exchange for PDF and the rights to Nick Sicoly.
Salerno also becomes the eighth overage on the T-Birds, joining Joey Miller, Brett Jeffries, Matt Mitchell, Matt Pinder, Nathan Hebert, Izaak Del Mastro and Nathan Warren.
1996 birth year forward Branden Wagner, who was acquired from the Silverbacks in exchange for PDF, had no points in 6 games this season. The Kelowna, British Columbia native stands 5’9 and 151 lbs.
“Branden is a player who filled more a defensive role during his first two seasons in the BCHL,” said T-Birds general manager Jamie Henderson. “However, we look to him to provide a boost to our offence. Branden was a proven scorer in a very good AAA midget league in BC and with time will flourish we believe with the Thunderbirds,” Henderson added.” He is a quality young man as well who was a captain of his midget team.”
“Bringing in two players of such quality will surely benefit our team and create real competition for playing time as we look to continue the process of getting better and hopefully where we want to be later in the Spring,” Henderson concluded.