Brock Palmer will reach a milestone Saturday with the Kimberley Dynamiters as they host the Golden Rockets in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) action.
The Dynamiters assistant captain and league scoring leader will play in his 100th career KIJHL regular season game. He didn’t even know it was coming.
“It’s crazy that it’s already coming up,” says Palmer, a product of Coaldale, Alta., near Lethbridge. “It all goes by so fast.”
There was no transition period for Palmer as a rookie coming from midget to junior B. A summer of training helped him develop a more muscular physique.
Dynamiters coach-general manager Derek Stuart credits Palmers durability and strength to reach 100 career games.
“Not many people outside his teammates and opponents know how physically strong Brock is,” says Stuart. “He showed up here as a rookie in 2017 weighing 145 pounds soaking wet and now weighs 170-plus pounds of solid muscle. The effort and commitment he has shown off the ice in the past two years are a big reason why he is able to consistently perform at an elite level”.
After putting up 25 goals and 58 points in 45 games, Palmer was named the KIJHL Rookie of the Year.
“I got off to a hot start and was fortunate enough to get on a good line my first few games of junior and I kind of got the ball rolling pretty early,” says Palmer.
This season he has exploded with nine goals and 15 points in six games. When asked about his play, he says, “Good I guess.
“Things have been going in the net for me. I’m happy about it,” says Palmer, who spent part of the summer skating in Lethbridge with Western Hockey League players, such as Ridly Greig of the Brandon Wheat Kings and D-Jay Jerome of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Greig is the son of retired NHLer Mark Greig. The families are friends.
“Being around those guys it’s lots of exposure and it’s awesome for development to watch a player,” says Palmer, who loves watching YouTube videos of Calgary Flames star Johnny Gaudreau.
Palmer considers himself a playmaker and it’s something he takes pride in. He loves setting up teammates, saying he’d “rather get an assist than a goal.”
“On the PP I kind of have my role as the passer, not as much as the goal scorer. It’s weird this year starting off with more goals. I don’t think I’ve ever had that before,” he says. “I have just been in situations that no one is with me or it’s a one-on-one situation. There just hasn’t been the passing option.”
A goal for Palmer this season is becoming the Dynamiters franchise all-time points leader, surpassing Jared Marchi, who has 214 points in 228 games over five full seasons. Heading into this weekend’s play, Palmer is 60 behind Marchi. Palmer is in his third season.
When talking about Marchi, it’s with respect.
“He is a Kimberley legend. He is a local too,” says Palmer.