The Beaver Valley Nitehawks’ Jacob Boycuk

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks’ Jacob Boycuk

Nitehawks ready for new season

Former Trail Smoke Eater coach Jim Ingram named assistant coach.

The Beaver Valley Nitehawks officially begin their quest to match last year’s Western Canadian Keystone Cup championship, as they take to the ice at the Beaver Valley Arena tonight to begin training camp for the 2014-15 season.

The Hawks will be hard-pressed to replace veterans like Ryan Edwards, Dallas Calvin, Archie McKinnon, Dan Holland, and Keenan Patershuck, but this year’s team will start with a solid foundation.

“We’ve got some younger guys that are ready to step up and take on different roles with the team this year, and we’re excited about the opportunity,” said Hawks coach and GM Terry Jones.

Of the potential returning players, a few will likely try for a roster spot in the Junior A ranks with BCHL or Alberta Junior Hockey League teams, but as of Tuesday, eligible players include high-end veterans like defencemen Walker Sidoni and  Lyle Frank, and forwards Sam Barker, Jacob Boyczuk, Mitch Foyle, Taylor Stafford, and Sam Swanson.

The Hawks also signed 20-year-old forwards Andrew Miller of Trail and Braydon Horcoff of Prince Rupert. Both players will add some size and toughness to the Hawks lineup, while also chipping in on the scoreboard. The six-foot, 180-pound Miller played for the Kimberley Dynamiters last season picking up four goals and 16 points in 51 games, while racking up 81 minutes in penalties, and Horcoff, at five-foot-11 inches and 170 pounds, suited up with the Campbell River Storm, going 5-22-27 with 48 PIM last year, after playing two seasons with the Castlegar Rebels.

Jones also retooled his bench, bringing in former Trail Smoke Eater coach Jim Ingram as defensive coach, and sending Jamie Cominotto upstairs to assume assistant GM duties. Yale alumnus Kevin Limbert returns as offensive coach.

“Jim has tons of experience, and we’re so excited to have him involved,” said Jones. “He’s just such a great guy, and as soon as we talked about it, like Jim is just a natural fit, and he was excited he could fit it in with work, and we’re just extremely stoked to have him involved now.”

Around 60 skaters will take to the ice this week, and, following successful recruiting trips east, the camp will have a distinctly Albertan flavour.

The Nitehawks tapped the Wild Rose market last year and found success with the addition of players like Frank, Sheldon Hubbard, Braden Fuller and goaltender Brett Clark, all hailing from Grande Prairie. With the competition for B.C. players growing more fierce, the Nitehawks coaching staff developed good connections in Red Deer and Calgary and will see a lot of prospects coming from these areas, said Jones.

“The coaching staff has worked hard all summer with the recruiting process, and talked a lot about the things we need to do differently, and probably that we’re going to have to play a slightly different style. At the same time, on paper, we look at the guys that we have now and we think we’re at least equal to all the other teams, and that’s part of building the team and that’s the challenge that’s in front of us.”

The coaching staff will also look for veteran players to step up and take a leadership role, for as they proved last season, character does indeed build championships.

“When you are losing guys like Ryan, Archie, and Dallas, you have a void of leadership. The guys that we lost weren’t just good hockey players, they were really good people, so we have to fill that void of leadership and that’s the most important thing.”

There is always a measure of uncertainty in the early season, as team’s continue to build well into December. With Clark reportedly signed by the Smoke Eaters, goaltending will again be in question, but as the season progresses so will the team – with similar results in mind.

“Honestly, our goal is to try and repeat,” added Jones. “I’m not saying we will, but ultimately that is what we are setting out to do, that’s for sure.”

The Nitehawks will practice at 6 p.m. tonight, and 8-11 a.m. and 6-9 p.m. Wednesday to Friday. They will have a scrimmage with prospective Grand Forks Border Bruins players on Satruday at 7 p.m. but have yet to confirm any exhibition matches.

Just Posted

Area A Director Ali Grieve (right), Village of Fruitvale Mayor Steve Morissette (front), and Village of Montrose Mayor Mike Walsh (left) held a congratulatory ceremony for Beaver Valley students who are part of the Class of 2021 graduates of J. L. Crowe Secondary at Beaver Creek Park on Thursday. Photo: Jim Bailey
Beaver Valley Grads of 2021

Beaver Valley mayors, RDKB Area A director celebrate their 2021 graduates with gift ceremony

Adrian Moyls is the Selkirk College Class of 2021 valedictorian and graduate of the School of Health and Human Services. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College valedictorian proves mettle in accomplishment

Adrian Moyls is a graduate of the School of Health and Human Services

A volunteer delivers food to families as part of a West Kootenay EcoSociety program. Photo: Submitted
Farms to Friends delivers 2,500th bag of food to families in need

The program services communities in the Nelson, Trail and Castlegar areas

Selkirk College has begun its search in earnest for a leader to replace president Angus Graeme who is set to retire from his position in May 2022. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College seeks community input for president search

Current president Angus Graeme retires next year

A report shows nine West Kootenay communities are have more low-income persons than the provincial average. File photo
Study casts new light on poverty in the West Kootenay

Nine communities in region have more low-income residents than provincial average

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read