The Trail Smoke Eaters will skate into the 2012-13 BCHL season this weekend with a good mix of returning veterans and young rookies.
“I think we’re looking pretty strong,” said assistant coach Brent Heaven. “We definitely have two strong goaltenders and we’ve got a pretty solid D-core with a lot of veterans back there, and I think our top couple lines will be able to put some pucks in the net and we’ve got a lot of good role players, so things are starting to come together pretty well.”
The Smokies will have three Greater Trail products to start the season including rookie forwards 16-year-old Mitch Foyle and Jake Lucchini, 17, from the Major Midget Kootenay Ice, as well as Scott Davidson, 17, who played last season with the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.
The roster also features Kootenay products Adam Wheeldon of Nelson, Joren Johnson from Shoreacres and Kimberley native Brenden Heinrich who join returning Smokies and new captain Garrett McMullen and starting goaltender Lyndon Stanwood.
Trail will begin the season with only five of the requisite six overage spots filled with forwards McMullen, Brent Baltus, Tyler Berkholtz, Merrimack commit Alex Holland and defenseman Djordje Leposavic.
“Obviously, it’s really early in the season, and there is going to be a feel our process here and we’ll start working on systems this week, we like the group we have and happy with what we’ve to start the season with, and with some hard work and determination I think we can do some good things,” added Heaven.
The Smokies’ first game goes Sept. 8 at the Save-On Foods BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack against the Cowichan Valley Capitals. All 56 regular-season games will be broadcast live on FastHockey pay-per-view as well as through the Smoke Eaters’ Ustream channel.