The Cranbrook Bucks have announced five new player commitments to the team, including a local product who played with the Kimberley Dynamiters last season.
The latest slate of commitments include defencemen Cam Reid and Cameron Kungle, along with three forwards in Nathan Fox, Jarrod Smith and Hayden Gelbard.
Reid, who grew up playing minor hockey in Cranbrook and Kimberley, has joined the Bucks after impressing at a rookie camp at the beginning of September, according to a team release.
“We are thrilled to have Cam join the Bucks for our inaugural season in the BCHL,” said Ryan Donald, the head coach and general manager of the Cranbrook Bucks. “Cam possesses exceptional skating ability and is a defenseman that stood out at our Rookie Camp in September. After watching him play in more detail it became clear to our staff that Cam is a player who is prepared to make the jump to the BCHL this season.”
Reid, 18, spent last season patrolling the blue line for the Kimberley Dynamiters, collecting 18 points in 40 KIJHL games.
Fellow defenceman Kungle, who hails from Red Deer, played midget prep with the Okanagan Hockey Academy last season, tallying 15 points in 31 games.
“Cam is a player who stood out at our Rookie Camp for a number of reasons,” said Donald.” He is a defenseman who has size and length in his game, but also showed very good puck skill and mobility for a player with his frame. We are excited to bring Cam to Cranbrook and be a part of his continued growth and development in the future.”
Up front, the three newest forwards will add versatility and skill to the lineup.
Fox, an 18-year-old from Okotoks, played last season with the Airdrie Thunder of the HJHL, scoring 35 points in 29 games.
“Nathan is a player that our staff has tracked for a while and showed extremely well at our Rookie Camp in early September,” said Donald. “He has a good combination of speed and skill which will allow him to fit into our style of play well. He is a player that can play multiple roles in our lineup and is a player we are excited to work with.”
Gelbard, also 18 years old, comes out of West Vancouver, where he played for the Vancouver NW Hawks U-18 AAA as a point-per-game player in 37 contests.
“Hayden is another forward that our staff has followed for a while and used our Rookie Camp to solidify a place on our roster for our inaugural BCHL season,” said Donald. “He has great strength in his game and plays a very consistent game. He is the type of player that can move around a lineup easily due to his versatility and consistency. We are thrilled to be able to add Hayden to our roster this fall.”
Smith, the youngest of the newest group of commitments, is a 16-year-old also from West Vancouver, spending last season playing for West Vancouver Academy E-15.
“Jarrod is a player that encompasses a lot of what we want in our hockey club – work ethic, competitiveness, speed and tenacity,” said Donald. “He adds a large motor to a very good offensive skill set which we believe will make him an effective BCHL player during his career. In addition to his on-ice abilities he a young man that is mature beyond his years. Jarrod will be a great addition to our team and the City of Cranbrook.”