Trail Smoke Eaters prospect for gold in Yukon

The Trail Smoke Eaters are Yukon bound to prospect for raw hockey talent in a three day camp.

The Trail Smoke Eaters are Yukon-bound this weekend looking to mine for gold at a prospects and development camp in Whitehorse.

Smoke Eaters coach and GM Cam Keith will be joined by scouts from the Beaver Valley Nitehawks and BC Major Midget Kootenay Ice in an effort to identify prospects for the three Greater Trail teams.

“Terry (Jones) has a scout up there from Major Midget so we’ll be looking at kids not only for the Smoke Eaters but for potentially kids that might be younger and come to Trail and be a part of what we’re hoping will be the program here – from Major Midget, to Beaver Valley, and on to becoming a Smoke Eater,” said Keith.

The purpose for both Keith and Nitehawks coach and GM Jones is to identify and develop young players in what is a mutually beneficial result for all three teams and a natural progression for the players, who can play in the Greater Trail community throughout their midget and junior careers.

“Right now we have over 60 kids (registered), so for that area it’s really good,” said Keith. “Any time you’re opening a camp for the first time you have to expect it’s not going to get the same numbers as a spring camp in Trail, you have to build. So that was our original philosophy was to just try to establish something up north where not a lot of people look, and try to build on it year-by-year.”

For Hockey-Yukon president Carl Burgess, the camp provides a rare opportunity for northern players to display their talent without travelling out of the area and make an impression that might further their hockey careers.

“I’m not sure there’s been anything like this in Whitehorse before, with three teams interested, with the intention to draw players from all over the North,” Burgess told the Yukon News. “They’re choosing Whitehorse over a lot of other locations in a huge region that includes (the) northwest United States and parts east. That’s how big it is, how potent this opportunity could be.”

The prospect camp will consist of a competitive scrimmage format — a mini-tournament in which players are separated onto teams.

There will also be a development skills camp for younger players born 2003 and up the same weekend.

“It’s new, so we’re not expecting to pack the rafters full of players, but we know there’s lots of interest and this is a huge value for any midget player,” he added. “It would save the cost of all the travel down south. To have one at home is a huge value, especially with three teams involved. There’s rarely camps down south hosted by more than one team.”

Yukon players aren’t new to Trail; the Ice recruited Whitehorse players Johnny Elias, Matthew Cooper, and Niall Lawrie to the team last season, and a “Yukon Line” made up of Wyatt Gale, Jarrett Malchow, and Riley Pettitt skated for the KIJHL’s Summerland Steam.

“It’s nice that people recognize there’s a strong hockey market up here – strong talent-wise, if not huge in numbers,” said Burgess. “Whitehorse is a natural node for players to come in from Alaska, N.W.T. and northern B.C. We expect to see players from all those jurisdictions here.”

The three-day camp goes from Friday to Sunday.

Trail Smoke Eaters

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Search and Rescue receives unprecedented funding from province

South Columbia Search and Rescue increase their range with addition of jet boat, ‘Second Chance’

Trail council greenlights contracts

Trail city council Governance and Operations Committee briefs

Trail council rejects rezoning bylaw for senior housing project

Rezoning application peaked concerns from several nearby residents

Plane crashes into Nelson supermarket parking lot

Pilot and passenger have minor injuries

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Canadians can travel to Hawaii in September; no quarantine with negative COVID test

Travellers will be required to pay for their own tests prior to arriving

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

Anonymous letters tell Vancouver Island family their kids are too loud

Letter said the noise of kids playing in Parksville backyard is ‘unbearable’

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Most Read