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Smoke Eaters select veteran leadership group

Defenceman Evan Bushy named captain, will lead the Smoke Eaters into 2022-23 BCHL season
The Trail Smoke Eaters named its leadership group just prior to opening the BCHL campaign in Penticton Friday. Evan Bushy will take over as Team Captain, and Jordan Hendry, Brady Hunter and Ethan Willoughby will all wear the ‘A’ as Assistant Captains for the 2022-23 season. From left: Hendry, Hunter, Bushy and Willoughby.

Trail Smoke Eaters veteran defenceman Evan Bushy was named Team Captain on Wednesday.

Bushy, from Thief River Falls, Minn joined the Smoke Eaters last season and immediately became a staple both on the ice defensively and in the locker room, establishing himself among the leadership core as the season went on.

“Leadership is such an important part of our group and our organization,” said head coach and GM Tim Fragle in a release. “Evan was selected as captain as he is a mature individual with a strong demeanor and has a professional approach in everything he does on and off the ice.

“From Day 1 in training camp he came in and had a presence about him and a maturity that we valued as a coaching staff and we know the room as well really supports Evan, and for us it was a pretty easy decision,” added Fragle.

Joining the 20-year-old Bushy as part of the leadership core is forward Brady Hunter and defencemen Jordan Hendry and Ethan Willoughby, who will all wear an ‘A’ on their jerseys this season.

“We’ve picked four gentlemen to be our leaders but everyone in our room can be a leader, it doesn’t matter if you’re a first year guy or a third year guy, everyone can be a leader,” said Fragle. “The four players we’ve picked are familiar with what it takes to be a leader in this program and we as a staff are excited to recognize those four individuals who make up our leadership team.”

Bushy wore the ‘A’ for part of the 2022 season, led all Smoke Eaters defencemen in scoring with six goals and 31 points, and is a St. Cloud State University commit.

“It’s a huge honour and it means a lot to me to be named captain and especially here in Trail with such a rich history,” said Bushy. “I’m excited to lead this group and get the season going, this means a lot to me.”

Hunter, a 20-year-old Enfield, N.S. product, was top scorer and MVP for the Smoke Eaters last season tallying 21 goals 56 points in 41 games. Hendry, 19, and Willoughby, 20, are top Trail defenders and provide stability and leadership both on and off the ice.

The Smoke Eaters kick their season off on Friday, Sept. 23 in Penticton, with their home opener set for Friday, Sept. 30 against the Cranbrook Bucks.

Read: Smoke Eaters open BCHL season in Penticton

Jim Bailey

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