The Kimberley Dynamiters will have to play wait-and-see when it comes to the future of Cranbrook product Korbyn Chabot (#26)

The Kimberley Dynamiters will have to play wait-and-see when it comes to the future of Cranbrook product Korbyn Chabot (#26)

KIJHL: Dynamiters boost local crew with signing of Clarricoates, Sterzer

Dynamiters contingency of East Kootenay products gets a boost with signing of Cranbrook's Terrell Clarricoates & Kimberley's Caige Sterzer

Jerry Bancks always said one of the biggest keys to success was a quality contingent of locally-grown players.

For the past few years, the Kimberley Dynamiters were the envy of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, deploying a core of local players including the likes of captain Jason Richter, Jared Marchi, Trevor Van Steinburg and Tyler Van Steinburg, just to name a few.

As it stands, Richter is off to pursue post-secondary education while playing for the University of Jamestown Jimmies ACHA Div. 1 men’s hockey program and Marchi has aged out of junior, leaving two significant holes to fill in the contingency of locally-produced Dynamiters.

Derek Stuart, head coach and general manager of the Dynamiters, helped address that need as he signed local products Terrell Clarricoates and Caige Sterzer.

“It’s really important, first of all, it’s great for the fan base at large to have some local kids and families that they recognize from Kimberley and Cranbrook,” said Jeff Keiver, assistant coach of the Kimberley Dynamiters, Monday afternoon. “It helps with our attendance and the overall attention that the team receives, but it’s also really good for minor hockey systems as well.

“Young kids can see their path. We always keep that connection alive so kids [in minor hockey] can really relate to somebody they know. That path [to junior hockey] is laid out clearly.”

Stuart confirmed the signings over the phone from Osoyoos Thursday evening after arriving for the KIJHL annual general meeting.

Clarricoates and Sterzer should be names familiar to Nitro Nation, with both  having suited up as affiliates this past season.

Clarricoates is a 17-year-old forward (5-foot-11, 175 pounds) hailing from Cranbrook. He suited up in three regular season games during the 2015-16 season, tallying one goal.

“He’s a hard-working player,” Keiver said of Clarricoates. “From what I’ve seen, he’ll go to the dirty areas and he will finish his checks. He’s been a great kid in the dressing room through our playoff run and all that.

“He kept his eyes open and he was trying to learn as much as he could from the veteran team that we had last year.”

Sterzer is set to turn 16 this August and dressed from three regular season games — registering one assist — as well as two playoff games this past season.

At 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds, Sterzer stands to inject some youth into the retooling Dynamiters after spending the bulk of 2015-16 playing with the Kootenay Ice of the B.C. Major Midget League, stacking up nine points in 39 games.

“He’s a kid that we’ve been watching growing up and he’s getting a lot bigger,” Keiver said. “He’s going to be able to hopefully make some offensive plays out there for us.

“Same as Terrell, he was willing to do everything we asked of him last year in a very limited role. With these younger guys, the coolest thing is that we don’t really know what there ceiling is yet. We’d like to see them play a full season and have high hopes for where they can go. They haven’t really been put in that position yet, so we’re excited to see what they can do.”

With Clarricoates and Sterzer under wraps, the Dynamiters have secured a young group of upcoming local talent, including returning forward James Rota and defenceman Lucas Purdy.

In their rookie seasons, Rota tallied 13 points in 42 games while Purdy posted nine points in 36 games.

For players like Clarricoates, Purdy, Rota and Sterzer, there will be ample opportunity when training camp officially opens, as the Dynamiters roster undergoes a massive overhaul with a number of key cogs moving on to college, aging out of junior hockey or advancing to higher levels of hockey.

“It’s a really exciting time for younger players in the Dynamiters system,” Keiver said. “Probably for the first time in two or three years there’s lots of openings in the top-six [forwards], top-four [defencemen], power play, penalty kill.

“They’re going to get a really good look at those positions and the same goes for anyone else. For the first time in a couple years we can actually tell our recruits that there’s power-play time, top-six minutes and top-four minutes on the backend for players, whereas in the last couple years we wouldn’t say that. We were pretty honest with our recruiting process that you were going to come in here and really have to work if you wanted to get those minutes because we had so many veteran guys already established themselves in those roles.”

Fans, along with those in Dynamiters hockey operations, will have to play wait-and-see with an additional trio of potential returning locals.

Korbyn Chabot, a 16-year-old Cranbrook product, was a ninth-round pick (182nd) of the Tri-City Americans at the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft. He is expected to return to Americans camp this fall and is also on the radar of the BCHL’s Surrey Eagles after attending the team’s spring camp earlier this year.

The Van Steinburg brothers have signed with the AJHL’s Canmore Eagles and while former Nitro Sawyer Hunt can tell you there are no guarantees, both Van Steinburgs should have a good opportunity to crack the Canmore squad this fall.

Matchsticks: The Castlegar Rebels filled their coaching vacancy, announcing the hiring of Bill Rotheisler as head coach and general manager Sunday evening. Rotheisler takes over from Jesse Dorrans who accepted the head coach/general manager’s role with the Drayton Valley Thunder of the Alberta Junior Hockey League earlier this spring. Rotheisler spent 2015-16 as an associate coach with the KIJHL’s Creston Valley Thunder Cats and was previously the head coach and general manager of the KIJHL’s Princeton Posse…

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read