After a disappointing preseason that saw the Vancouver Giants win just one of six games, general manager Scott Bonner pulled the trigger on some big moves.
The Vancouver WHL franchise picked up three new players before their home game Sept. 21 against the Victoria Royals to start the 2012-2013 season.
Bonner traded a 2014 sixth-round bantam draft pick to the Edmonton Oil Kings for 18-year-old Tristan Sieben, an 187-pound forward who posted 14 points last year while helping the Oil Kings to their first Chynoweth Cup in franchise history.
"In Tristan, we acquired a player from an elite program who brings an excellent work ethic and will add to our depth up front," Bonner said in a release. "We felt Tanner is a big, strong guy who could add a different element to our forward group as it became apparent through the exhibition season that we were lacking some grit."
Bonner also swapped a fourth-round pick in 2014 and a sixth rounder in 2015 to the Kelowna Rockets for 18-year-old forward Tanner Moar and 17-year-old defenceman Stewart Coyle.
Moar, a 6'3 and 180-pound right winger, had eight points in 65 games with Kelowna last year while Coyle played junior B for the Sicamous Eagles.
The Giants lost a considerable amount of firepower with the departure their top five point-getters from last season, including 40-goal scorers Brendan Gallagher and Jordan Martinook, who combined for nearly a third of the team's goals and have since been drafted by, respectively, the Montreal Canadiens and the Phoenix Coyotes.
Returning to carry the offensive load are 19-year-olds Marek Tvrdon and Cain Franson. Tvrdon scored 31 goals last season, which ended in a first round playoff loss to the Spokane Chiefs, and Franson put in 27.
Back on the blue line, five Giants are returning from last season, including Wes Vannieuwenhuizen, the team's new captain now that Gallagher is playing with the Hamilton Bulldogs, the Habs' AHL farm team. Also back are NHL prospects David Musil and Brett Kulak, who both have good two-way ability.
The team also has a new face between the pipes. With last year's starter Adam Morrison having joined fellow former Giants Milan Lucic and Craig Cunningham in the Boston Bruins' system, the Giants acquired 19-year-old Liam Liston from the Lethbridge Hurricanes to take the top job in net. Liston has a 29-30-0-1 record over 68 games with the Hurricanes and Brandon Wheat Kings. Seventeen-year-old Tyler Fuhr will play backup.
The Giants are also hoping to pick up some new fans this year with the Canucks out of action for the foreseeable future due to the NHL lockout. Ticket prices for the first three home games have been slashed and all upper-bowl red seats at Pacific Coliseum will be available for $15 instead of $19. Players will also be sporting 1945-46 Vancouver Canuck replica jerseys in the season home opener to honour the Pacific Coast League championship team inducted on Thursday into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame.
The puck drops for the visiting Royals first tilt against the Giants at 7:30 p.m. at Pacific Coliseum.