Kootenay Ice training camp officially underway

Veterans and prospects hit the ice with five days to earn a spot on the WHL squad.

Kootenay Ice training camp has officially begun as prospects and veterans begin a five-day process to convince management that they deserve a spot on the 2012/13 roster.

The Ice have 17 returning players at camp but 47 prospects will also be hanging around the arena to showcase their abilities to head coach Ryan McGill and his assistants.

The day started with registration in the morning, before veterans and prospects took to the ice in separate sessions. Goaltending coach Justin Cardinal took a look at his six netminders in the afternoon before another prospects scrimmage wrapped things up.

McGill led the veteran practice, which included a few alumni pros such as Cody Eakin, Adam Cracknell and Brayden McNabb, who’ve made the trip to Cranbrook to get in some ice time before their AHL pro camps begin.

Ice general manager Jeff Chynoweth joined his head coach and a few scouts during the goaltending session to observe the six stoppers, which included Mackenzie Skapski, the heir apparent to Nathan Lieuwen’s starting job.

While camp officially began on Wednesday, many players have been in town for the last week or so getting adjusted to their new surroundings and billet families. One such player is Jordyn Boyd, an 18-year-old left winger who was traded to the Ice for a draft pick at the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft.

Boyd is coming off his inaugural season in the WHL with the Everett Silvertips, where he played 53 games and tallied seven goals and four assists for 11 points.

Boyd, a Winnipegger, got familiar with the Ice through the help of Jon Martin, as the two grew up in the same part of the city in Manitoba. Boyd’s roommate, Tanner Muth, has also helped him acclimatize to his new atmosphere.

Chynoweth said at the time of the trade that the Ice had their eye on Boyd in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft, but Everett got to him first before Kootenay could select him.

However, the trade, which brought Boyd to the Ice for their fifth-round pick gives Boyd a fresh start and bolsters the experience of a young forward core.

“I was actually pretty excited,” Boyd said, of the trade. “Last year in Everett, it was a kind of getting my feet wet kind of year and knowing that we weren’t having many forwards leaving, it was good coming in here knowing that I can maybe play a top three line so I was happy with the trade.

“It was a learning year for myself and hopefully I can come in here and be an impact player.”

While much ado has been made about the 20-year-old situation, with five players competing for three spots, there is also a solid group of 19-year-olds in Erik Benoit, Muth and Jagger Dirk who will look to step into leadership roles.

“We’re going to have a younger group of guys this year,” Benoit said. “We’re going to have a lot of 16- and 17-year-olds coming in and we just got to try to lead the way for them and to step into that leadership role is key.”

Benoit, a left winger, is entering his third year with the Ice, and will push hard for a top-six position after spending last year on the third unit.

“A new coaching staff, you have to make an impression,” said Benoit. “You don’t know what they’re going to be like and you don’t know what they’re going to be like on you so there’s always that big first impression.”

The first intrasquad game of the camp begins on Thursday at 11 a.m. at Western Financial Place. All games and practices over the next few days are open to the public.

Just Posted

The City of Cranbrook and the Ktunaxa Nation raised the flag of the Ktunaxa Nation at the arches entrance into the city’s downtown core during a ceremony on Monday, June 21. Photo courtesy City of Cranbrook.
Ktunaxa Nation flag raised at downtown arches entrance

The Ktunaxa Nation flag was raised at the Cranbrook arches — the… Continue reading

Kimberley Search and Rescue were able to quickly respond to a call for service and transport an injured mountain biker to East Kootenay Regional Hospital over the weekend. Kimberley SAR file photo.
Kimberley Search and Rescue respond to injured mountain biker on Bootleg Mountain

Kimberley Search and Rescue responded to a call for service this past… Continue reading

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

City of Cranbrook, Ktunaxa Nation to host flag ceremony on National Indigenous Peoples Day. (Corey Bullock file)
City of Cranbrook, Ktunaxa Nation hosting flag ceremony on National Indigenous Peoples Day

A temporary road closure and speed limit reduction will be in effect during the ceremony

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

Pictured is Mrs. O and her grade 4/5 class at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Cranbrook. Mrs. O challenged her class to read 36,000 pages in May and they far surpassed that goal. The students were then allowed to choose her fate. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)
WATCH: St. Mary’s Catholic School grade 4/5 class wins reading challenge

Teacher lets students choose fate after reading over 47,000 pages in one month

Fans watch the warm-up before Game 6 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens in NHL playoff hockey action Saturday, May 29, 2021 in Montreal. Quebec’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions will allow 2,500 fans to attend the game for the first time in fourteen months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Two-thirds of Canadians say governments shouldn’t lift all COVID-19 restrictions

Poll reports Canadians who gained pandemic weight say they have gained 16 pounds on average

Paul Bernardo is shown in this courtroom sketch during Ontario court proceedings via video link in Napanee, Ont., on October 5, 2018. Teen killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo is set for a parole hearing today. The designated dangerous offender, has been eligible for full parole for more than three years. Bernardo’s horrific crimes in the 1980s and early 1990s include for kidnapping, torturing and killing Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy near St. Catharines, Ont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Banning
Killer rapist Paul Bernardo faces parole hearing today; victim families opposed

Designated dangerous offender has been eligible for full parole for more than three years.

People look over the damage after a tornado touched down in Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal, Monday, June 21, 2021. Dozens of homes were damaged and one death has been confirmed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
One dead and extensive damage as tornado hits Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal

Damage reported in several parts of the city, and emergency teams dispatched to sectors hardest hit

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

Most Read