Chilliwack Chiefs recruit Clark Nelson (No. 24) weaves through Kamloops defenders during a Junior ‘B’ game last January. REVELSTOKE REVIEW PHOTO

Cranbrook’s Clark Nelson commits to Junior ‘A’ Chilliwack Chiefs

Local hockey player moves up a tier after spending 2017-18 season with KIJHL Revelstoke Grizzlies

A top Cranbrook hockey prospect took a big step in his young career, signing to play with a Junior ‘A’ team in the Lower Mainland this fall.

Clark Nelson, a 2000-born forward and former standout with the Cranbrook Hornets Bantam AA squad, was revealed on Monday to be the first 2018-19 commitment to the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs.

Playing minor midget in Lethbridge with the AAA Hurricanes, Nelson transitioned to the KIJHL last year and put up 22 points in 34 games with the Revelstoke Grizzlies. He also had a whopping 145 penalty minutes.

Participating at the KIJHL Top Prospects League Showcase in Kelowna in January, Nelson earned the opportunity to follow in his father’s footsteps by joining the Chiefs. Chad Nelson, who is also from Cranbrook, played 45 games for the Chiefs in 1994-95 and played a similar style game to his son which earned him 209 penalty minutes.

From there, the senior Nelson went on to have a well-traveled eight year minor-pro career that included stints with the Charlotte Checkers (ECHL), Wheeling Nailers (ECHL), Louisiana IceGators (ECHL), San Diego Gulls (WCHL), Jacksonville Lizard Kings (ECHL), Pensacola Ice Pilots (ECHL), Arkansas RiverBlades (ECHL), Huntsville Tornado (CHL), Greenville Grrrowl (ECHL), Wichita Thunder (CHL) and Corups Christi Icerays (CHL).

Nelson eventually retired after playing a pair of games in United Kingdom with the Bracknell Bees of Britain’s National Ice Hockey League and four games with the Anaheim Bullfrogs of the now-defunct Roller Hockey International league.

Clark Nelson was a contributor to Revelstoke’s 20-game playoff run this spring, which ended in a game six loss in the league championship at the hands of the Kimberley Dynamiters. The Chiefs, meanwhile, were the winners of the 2018 RBC Cup as the hosts of the Canadian Junior ‘A’ championship tournament.

With files from the Chilliwack Progress.

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