For the first time since being assigned to the Kootenay Ice by the Montreal Canadiens Oct. 10

For the first time since being assigned to the Kootenay Ice by the Montreal Canadiens Oct. 10

Tim’s return

Bozon's road to the pros travels through Cranbrook once again

Taylor Rocca

It’s no secret Tim Bozon wants to play professional hockey.

After being drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the third round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the 6-foot-1 winger tore up the Western Hockey League, finishing ninth in league scoring with 36 goals and 91 points as he suited up with the Kamloops Blazers during the 2012-13 season.

That left no question the Habs made good in taking the French national with the 64th pick. Tim Bozon was going to be a sure-fire pro hockey player in short order after the type of season he had in 2012-13.

Fast-forward two years and rather than suiting up for his first season of professional hockey, Bozon finds himself back in Cranbrook preparing to pull Kootenay Ice colours over his head as a 20-year-old over-ager.

“I’m happy to see the boys again, I shared some good moments with them [last season],” Bozon said prior to practice Tuesday afternoon. “Obviously, it’s not the place I want to be right now. I want to play pro hockey but unfortunately something happened to me in March last year so [the] Montreal [Canadiens] think it’s better for me to play in the WHL with Kootenay for now.”

The “something” that happened to Bozon was a well-documented, life-and-death battle with neisseria meningitis that left the promising prospect in a medically-induced coma at Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon.

Bozon made immense steps in his recovery this past summer, culminating with his attendance at training camps with the Canadiens and the team’s AHL affiliate in Hamilton this fall.

“There weren’t many people that thought I would be at training camp, and I was,” Bozon said. “I said, ‘I’m ready to play.’ I didn’t want to just show up [to camp to] say I was there.”

Bozon didn’t just show up to training camp. He suited up in NHL pre-season action Sept. 26 in Quebec City when the Habs edged the Colorado Avalanche 3-2. After being assigned to the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs, Bozon dressed for a handful of pre-season games with the Canadiens affiliate before getting the news he would spend the 2014-15 campaign in the WHL.

“Everyone told me I played pretty good and I had a really good camp [in Hamilton],” Bozon added.

“I’m here back in junior not because I was not good enough…You can tell in puck battles with bigger guys, professional guys, it’s tougher. I need to regain my strength.”

Back in Cranbrook, Bozon’s focus is on regaining his goal-scoring confidence and rebuilding the strength that not only made him one of the WHL’s most dangerous offensive threats, but also projected him as one of the Montreal Canadiens’ most prized young prospects.

“Our job is to get him to pro hockey,” said Kootenay Ice head coach Ryan McGill Tuesday afternoon. “He’s had a setback, clearly, because of what he has been through.

“He’s worked his butt off to get to where he is right now. The Montreal Canadiens feel he needs more and it’s our job to get him where he needs to go.”

Bozon will get every opportunity to regain that goal-scoring confidence with a Kootenay Ice club starving for offense. The Ice have scored 19 goals through eight games to start the 2014-15 WHL season. In the WHL’s Central Division, only the Lethbridge Hurricanes, with 16 goals, have scored less than the Ice. With 43 tallies, the division-leading Medicine Hat Tigers have more than doubled Kootenay’s offensive output so far this season.

“His tenacity and his will to score is unbelievable,” McGill added. “The kid wants to score every shift. Hopefully that leadership rubs off on other guys.”

Bozon is expected to be in the lineup Friday night when the Ice host the Regina Pats at Western Financial Place. Though nothing is set in stone, he could skate alongside centre Luke Philp and right-winger Jaedon Descheneau. The two veteran forwards represent the team’s top scorers thus far — Descheneau with five goals and eight points, Philp with four goals and seven points.

“Personally, I just play my game and enjoy [it],” Bozon said.  “I’m an offensive player…but I just want to be a good player overall, a two-way player.”

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

1914
It happened this week in 1914

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

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

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

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Most Read