Letters on the back of the jersey were a dead giveaway Sunday that the Trail Smoke Eaters added another local talent to its roster this week.
Coach Bill Birks confirmed Monday that Trail native Ryan Edwards will be a permanent fixture on the front end for the Smokies.
“He’s been really good,” said Birks. “We’ve been trying to get him for a year and a bit now, so now that he’s here, it’s good, real good.”
Edwards will continue to play as an AP until room is made on the roster, but has only played in three games for the Smokies so far this season and is eligible to play up to 10 as an AP.
The 19-year-old forward started the season with the Beaver Valley Nitehawks where he scored six goals and seven assists in six games.
Edwards was a major contributor to the Hawks KIJHL championship last season when he netted 95 points.
“I’m pretty excited, I always wanted to play for the home team so I’m very happy about it,” said Edwards.
Edwards looked great in the game against Merritt Sunday, making plays, fore-checking, and seeing time on the PK for his hard work.
“It’s a bit faster,” said Edwards. “That’s the biggest difference, you just got to keep your feet moving a little more, and a bigger ice surface too just (makes it) faster.”
A young Beaver Valley team will miss the talented Edwards, but coach Terry Jones sees it as a success rather than a disappointment at losing arguably the team’s best offensive weapon.
“We’re excited for Ryan, he deserves the opportunity to show himself at that level . . . Disappointment isn’t the word, it’s passing the torch,” said Jones.
The Smokies could use some finish around the net as they struggle to convert shots into goals of late, but the humble Edwards is keeping his expectations in check.
“I just want to help the team out as much as possible, if good things come my way then so be it.”