Kyle Budvarson

Kyle Budvarson

Red Deer native commits to Smoke Eaters

Trail Smoke Eaters make another key addition to its blue line with commitment of Red Deer captain

Trail Smoke Eaters are quickly finding answers to a defensive corps that was raising questions less than a week ago.

The Smoke Eaters announced the commitment of 18-year-old Red Deer native Kyle Budvarson for the 2018-2019 season.

Budvarson, a six-foot, 190-pound defenceman, is the fourth player added to the roster this week, joining defencemen Jeremy Smith and Diarmad DiMurro, and forward Hayden Rowan.

Related story: Smoke Eaters announce veteran additions

Budvarson played the past two seasons with the Red Deer Optimist Chiefs of the Alberta AAA Midget Hockey League. He captained a Chiefs team that was near the top of league standings with a 24-5-6 record, contributing two goals and 17 points in 32 games, and 30 minutes in penalties. Over the past two seasons, the defenceman has amassed 27 points from the back end in the highly competitive AMHL.

Budvarson was a teammate of Smokies forward Levi Glasman with the Chiefs in 2016-17 and follows fellow Red Deer products Glasman and Kale Howarth to the Silver City and the Smoke Eaters.

“We are thrilled to add Kyle to our defence group for next season,” Head coach and GM Jeff Tambellini said in a release. “He has been a captain at every level and possesses the ability to defend and compete at an outstanding rate. We feel that Kyle is going to represent what a Trail Smoke Eater truly is on and off the ice.”

Trail’s back end is taking shape. With the expected return of Smoke Eater veteran defencemen Kyle Chernenkoff and Trevor Zins, and recent acquisitions Smith and DiMurro, Budvarson joins commitments Jimmy Darby and Kieran O’Hearn as the young recruits looking to make an impact on the Trail blue line this season.