Welcome to Quick Shift, which provides a preview of each of the 20 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League teams, with insights from their respective general managers/head coaches. Next are the Chase Heat in the Doug Birks division. The Heat are coming off a challenging season that saw them win 10 games and finish last in their division. Brad Fox answers questions about the team.
Did you have a good off-season of recruiting?
We believe we addressed the areas we needed to from top to bottom to compete every night.
I have seen a different level with more strengths in their game than we’ve had in a while and we were fortunate enough to land players that we were after.
What do you like about the group of players returning who will play a big part on your team?
When you have a 10-win season like we did, I believe what they learned throughout that experience has already served these guys well in pushing through adversity. They did not quit. That has more value in many ways than winning can have if you utilize the learning with a defined purpose.
From your second-year players, who stood out during camp that excites you?
Braden Huth (21 points in 36 games last season) is a 20-year-old entering his third year and he’s really taken the bull by the horns and run with it. In the second-year group, Kaleb Preymak has definitely set the precedent and tone of how we’re going to play and our expectations. All the little details that become critical in having a really solid foundation of your hockey team, that’s somebody who has really been evident to me. Goalie Meyer Gaume has been one of those guys that has made a statement that he wants to go to another level. He has shown through his preparation in practice, through his off-season training, the things he needed to take that game to another level.
Note: Preymak joined the Heat in a trade from Revelstoke and registered five goals and eight points in 22 games. He also had 72 penalty minutes. In 22 games last season, Gaume had a .901 SP and three wins.