B.C. hockey scouts impressed by Northern talent at prospect camp

Scouts from the British Columbia Hockey League club were impressed by what they saw at a prospect camp held at the Canada Games Centre, May 19-21, said Trail Smoke Eaters operations manager Steve Robinson.

The Trail Smoke Eaters might just gobble up some Yukon hockey players.

Scouts from the British Columbia Hockey League club were impressed by what they saw at a prospect camp held at the Canada Games Centre, May 19-21, said Smoke Eaters operations manager Steve Robinson.

“The way we look at any camp, if you can identify one player who you can bring to the main camp, or a couple players for a year down the road, it’s a success,” said Robinson.

“We were very pleasantly surprised with the players who are up there. And the one thing we can say is that the coaches, the volunteers, who are up there coaching them are obviously doing a really good job because based on numbers there, there are definitely some really good hockey players.”

In addition to the Smoke Eaters, a Junior A team, the camp had out scouts from the Beaver Valley Nighthawks from the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, a Junior B league, and the Kootenay Ice from B.C. Hockey’s Major Midget League.

About 60 Yukon players, as well as one from N.W.T. and one from northern B.C., took the opportunity to showcase their skills.

“We weren’t really sure what to expect on this trip, but once we got there we knew right away that it was going to turn out OK,” said Robinson. “People coming in were pretty enthusiastic and excited that we were there. When we got on the ice with the kids we thought it was great.”

The camp, which is thought to be the first of its kind in Yukon, was held with the cooperation of Hockey Yukon.

About 30 of the 60 players were born between 1998 and 2002 — the age range in which the Smoke Eaters are most interested. A “few” were given invitations to move on to the Smoke Eaters’ next stage of selection, a camp in Trail at the end of August, but declined to give names. About 40 players in total from western North America will be invited to the camp.

Impressed by the skill of Yukoners playing on teams down south, Robinson reached out to Hockey Yukon coach Martin Lawrie to see if he thought a camp was a good idea and Lawrie did. Whitehorse’s Johnny Elias, Matthew Cooper, Niall Lawrie, for instance, all played for the Kootenay Ice major midget team this past season.

“As an organization you’re always looking for different places where you could potentially identify players, find talent that maybe other teams have overlooked,” said Robinson.

The camp also included development skills sessions for younger players born 2003 and up. Some skated their way onto the radar of scouts, said Robinson.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if five or seven are playing junior in the next couple of years,” he said. “Hopefully we build a relationship because in a few years they might turn out to be really good hockey players.

“As long as people say they want us to come back, we want to come back. We’re going to go a few weeks earlier next year and I’ll be booking hotels and flights as soon as we can.”

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

During our recent conversation, John Nicholson showed me snapshots of his time working on the Yukon riverboats 70 years ago. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: Yukon man relives the riverboat days after seven decades

John Nicholson took summer work on Yukon steamers in the 1950s

Whitehorse City Hall at its Steele Street entrance. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Change of plans approved for city hall

Project would see 1966 city hall demolished

A city map shows the property at 107 Range Road. The zoning is now in place for developers to proceed with plans for a Dairy Queen drive-thru. If plans proceed on schedule the new restaurant is anticipated to open in October. (Cyrstal Schick/Yukon News)
October opening eyed for Dairy Queen

Will depend on everything going according to plan

NDP candidate Annie Blake, left, and Liberal incumbent Pauline Frost. (Submitted photos)
Official recount confirms tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin riding

Both candidates Pauline Frost and Annie Blake are still standing with 78 votes each

Artist’s rendering of a Dairy Queen drive-thru. At its April 13 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved a zoning change to allow a drive-thru at 107 Range Road. Developers sought the change to build a Dairy Queen there. (Submitted)
Drive-thru approved by Whitehorse city council at 107 Range Road

Rezoning could pave the way for a Dairy Queen

Joel Krahn/joelkran.com Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: Hands of Hope, the quilt of poppies

Toilets are important Ed. note: Hands of Hope is a Whitehorse-based non-profit… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

École Whitehorse Elementary Grade 7 students Yumi Traynor and Oscar Wolosewich participated in the Civix Student Vote in Whitehorse on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Yukon Student Vote chooses Yukon Party government; NDP take popular vote

The initiative is organized by national non-profit CIVIX

Yvonne Clarke is the newly elected Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek Centre. (Submitted/Yukon Party)
Yvonne Clarke elected as first Filipina MLA in the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Clarke beat incumbent Liberal Paolo Gallina in Porter Creek Centre

Emily Tredger at NDP election night headquarters after winning the Whitehorse Centre riding. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Emily Tredger takes Whitehorse Centre for NDP

MLA-elect ready to get to work in new role

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Two new cases of COVID-19 variant identified in territory

“If variants were to get out of control in the Yukon, the impact could be serious.”

lwtters
Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Most Read