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Trail Smoke Eaters captain commits to University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Smoke Eater Coalson Wolford will continue his education and hockey career with NCAA Blugolds
Coalson Wolford was named captain of the Trail Smoke Eaters for the 2021-22 season. Photo: Jim Bailey

It was only a matter of time, but Trail Smoke Eaters announced on Wednesday that captain Coalson Wolford commited to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire for the 2022-23 season.

Wolford is a talented centre, and a physical and natural leader that helped the Smoke Eaters to a playoff berth this season.

“Coalson has been an exceptional Smoke Eater over the last two seasons and we will definitely miss his consistent competitiveness and leadership,” said Smoke Eaters head coach and GM Tim Fragle. “We want to wish Coalson all the best in his future athletic and academic endeavors.”

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Blugolds is a NCAA Div. III school that plays in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC).

Wolford came to Trail from the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and was named an assistant captain in his first year, 2020-21, and took another step in his role off the ice this season being named captain.

Wolford hit the 100 BCHL games-played mark, finishing his junior career with 114 games and tallied 64 points.

The 21-year-old San Jose, Calif. product played in all situations for the Smoke Eaters, whether it was 5-on-5, penalty kill or powerplay, he was key in all areas for the Smoke Eaters this season.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to play college hockey,” said Wolford. “I’m excited, they treat their players well which was part of my decision. I’m excited for the next step of my hockey career.”