The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League 2021-22 season begins Oct. 1. Leading into the season we are providing previews on each of the teams.
Next up are the Kimberley Dynamiters in the Eddie Mountain Division. The Dynamiters won one of their three games prior to the cancellation of the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19. The Dynamiters had the second best offence in their division, scoring 13 goals.
Key Returnees: F- Ryan Bennett, Carter Spring.
Bennett and Spring each had two goals and three points in three games last season.
“Both are fourth year guys with us and have been to the KIJHL final in 2019. They were part of the team that finished first overall in the year we got shut down in 2020,” says Dynamiters Head Coach Derek Stuart. “To have them back and not only reap the benefits of their on-ice play, but also have them carry on the culture of what we started here many years ago, this is a huge relief for the coaching staff. We don’t have to re-establish anything. It’s going to be established by those two and everyone else will follow suit.”
Rookie to Watch: D- Carson Cleland. F- Jayden Kostiuk
Cleland – Medicine Hat Cubs (Heritage Junior Hockey League) “He has shown really well in main camp and in practice. I think he is going to be a really bright surprise for us in the backend that will do a lot more than we probably anticipated him doing.”
Kostiuk – He played for the Dynamiters last season. “Because of his age, 19, and his strength, and his ability to be a really good player at this level, we’re expecting probably a little bit more from him.”
“There are a lot of others that I think have a chance to contribute significantly too,” says Stuart of his rookie forwards. “I like the fact that they are all going to have an inner battle for ice-time and roles. A lot of guys that have the potential to be offensive.”
Season outlook: The Dynamiters will be led by a veteran presence as 11 of their 14 players are 19- or 20-year-old.
“We are going to be pretty old and quite experienced. Five of our veterans were with us two years ago when we finished first overall. We have guys that know what it takes to win in this league. I’m hoping our experience and age and strength will be an advantage for us.”
Coach’s quote: “I think we have a real good chance to compete for a championship (the Teck Cup) and I think on the ice when we are starting the regular season – to be able to put 14 or 15 veterans in every single night – should be a huge advantage. We’re looking to start strong. There is no reason not to and just build and get better all throughout the year.”
D- Leith Olafson – Melfort Mustangs (SJHL)
F- Ty Smith – Melfort Mustangs (SJHL)
D- Nick Dobson – Weyburn (SJHL)
D- Noah Danforth – Vancouver Island University (BCIHL)