Levi Carter is fourth in KIJHL scoring. The Osoyoos Coyote leads all rookies with six points in three games. He’s tied with Matthew Byrnes (Nelson) and Jordan Adams (Castlegar) with five goals to lead the league.
Yet, his early offensive production doesn’t matter to the Keremeos native.
“Putting up points isn’t a focus,” says Carter. “Blocking shots, backchecking. Anything really to help us win.
“It definitely boosts my confidence a bit,” adds Carter when asked.
Carter is among the recruits coach Carter Rigby brought in from John DePourcq’s South Zone midget team last season. DePourcq is an assistant coach/consultant with the Coyotes. Carter played four games as an affiliate player with the Summerland Steam last year – he had a goal and three points. That was his introduction to junior hockey and it gave him a feel for the game and has helped him make a strong transition to junior.
“I like the quality of the game. There are some really good players in the league that have a chance moving up,” says Carter. “I’m impressed with the talent of all the players. The skill level that they all have and the speed of the game so far.”
He’s happy with his start, but knows there is room for improvement. He’s motivated to keep working hard on and off the ice and hopefully keep helping the Coyotes win and succeed. He wants to be part of leading them to a Teck Cup championship.
His goal this season is to improve every game.
“I want to finish stronger than I started,” says Carter. “I also want to be a player my coaches can rely on. Being consistent is really important to me as well.”
In the first KIJHL Notebook, Rigby called an “absolute machine.”
“The kids skates, a strong farm boy out of Keremeos,” says Rigby, adding with continued development he can make the jump to junior A.
Carter, who likes the fact he is back in the community where he played at the novice and atom level, chose to play in the KIJHL with the Coyotes after his talks with Rigby. He likes what the former WHL player has planned for the Coyotes and wanted to be part of it. He also likes that it is close to home as switching schools wasn’t ideal for him. It was also important to stay home and help his family on the cattle ranch.
Some of his duties include moving cows and sprinklers in the summer. He also hays grass and alfalfa. It’s not easy work.
“Oh yeah, a lot of physical work to be done on the ranch,” says Carter, whose farm work contributes to his sturdy six foot, 185 pound stature.
Carter has primarily played with Penticton native Ethan O’Rourke and Ethan McKibbon of Chestermere, Alta.
“They are strong skaters and have a ton of skill,” says Carter. “The more we play together, the better the chemistry will be. I could see from the first game. The first team and we score on our first shift. Ok, we definitely have some chemistry going.”
When asked to describe himself as a player, Carter says he’s a strong teammate.
“I work hard on and off the ice,” says Carter. “My game has a lot of speed and character.”