Smoke Eaters acquire veteran forward

The Trail Smoke Eaters trade d-man Jimmy Darby for veteran forward Cory Clifton

TRAIL, B.C. – The Trail Smoke Eaters Junior ‘A’ Hockey Club is pleased to announce the team has acquired forward Corey Clifton from the Surrey Eagles in exchange for defenceman Jimmy Darby.

Clifton, 20, spent the 2018/19 season with the Eagles, collecting 7 goals and 18 assists for 25 points in a career-high 50 games played, which was good for fifth in scoring for Surrey during the season. Before his time in the BC Hockey League, the five-foot-10, 180-pound left-hand shot played with the North Jersey Avalanche U18 team while also getting into 8 games with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the United States Hockey League (USHL) where he tallied two assists.

The Matawan, New Jersey native has hockey running deep in his family as both of his older brothers have worked their way into the pro ranks. Connor is currently playing for a Stanley Cup as a member of the Boston Bruins blue line while the eldest of the three, Tim, has played three seasons in the San Jose Sharks organization. Corey, as his brothers have previously, is set to attend Quinnipiac University and hit the ice as a Bobcat in the fall of 2020.

“Corey is going to add another layer to the depth of our forward group,” commented Smoke Eaters General Manager and Head Coach Jeff Tambellini, “He is an explosive skater who can make plays and has the courage to get to the net to score goals. I believe Corey’s playing style and experience is really going to complement our current forward group. I’m excited to build his game and prepare him to step into Quinnipiac University the following season.”

Darby, 18, played in 42 games with the Smoke Eaters, earning a goal and five assists for six points to go along with 24 penalty minutes. The North Vancouver native played two seasons with the Vancouver North West Giants before coming to Trail.

The Smoke Eaters would like to welcome Corey and his family to the organization as well as the City of Trail and thank Jimmy for his contributions to the team as well as the city.

Clifton and the rest of the Smoke Eaters will be in Trail for the team’s Main Camp at the end of August while season tickets for the 2019/20 campaign are available for purchase at the Smoke Eaters office, which is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday as well as online at www.shop.trailsmokeeaters.com.

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