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Backs Acquire Colgate Commit Panetta from OJHL’s Dukes

Salmon Arm B.C. — The Salmon Arm Silverbacks have acquired 19-year-old forward Daniel Panetta from the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Wellington Dukes, in exchange for defenceman Zach Gabruch and future considerations.

Panetta, from Belleville, Ont., brings three years of junior experience with him to Salmon Arm, all with the Dukes, including 48 career playoff games at the Junior A level. Last season, he registered 18 goals and 26 assists for 44 points in 54 games, tied for fifth in team scoring. Four of his 18 goals were scored shorthanded, tied for the second most in the OJHL. He was also invited to try-out for Team Canada East at the World Junior A Challenge this past season.

Going the other way is 6-foot-4 defenceman Zach Gabruch, who tallied a goal and four assists in 56 games in his rookie season with the Backs and was an impact player defensively, including on the penalty kill.

“With the opportunity to acquire a player like Daniel, we were required to move a good player in return. I’d like to thank Zach for all his commitment and efforts to our organization and wish him the best of luck,” Silverbacks general manager Brooks Christensen said. “We believe Daniel is an addition to our roster that will impact our offensive side of the game.”

Panetta was an OJHL champion with the Dukes in his rookie year in the 2017-18 season, and subsequently suited up in the Dudley Hewitt Cup (tournament that determines the Central Canadian Junior A champion) and RBC Cup (National Championship). He scored two goals and added an assist in three games at the Dudley Hewitt and also tallied one goal in six games at the RBC Cup, held in Chilliwack that year.

The 5-foot-11, 172 lb. forward comes to the Backs with an NCAA Div.-I scholarship already secured to Colgate University, where former Silverback Matthew Verboon currently attends. Panetta’s older brother Jacob, a defenceman, also wrapped up his senior season for Colgate this past season. The Panetta’s are also cousins with current Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw.

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks would like to welcome Daniel to Salmon Arm.