Head coach Joey Ewing faces some tough decisions as the Comox Valley Glacier Kings approach the 2014/15 Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League season.
He was impressed with the calibre of play at the team’s main camp that ran Aug. 15-17.
“It was a great weekend, one of the best ones I’ve been around,” Ewing said. “We had 15 locals at the camp. We’ll probably sign maybe two or three more out of that camp.”
Earlier this month, the Kings added four new players to the roster: forwards Ty Madden of Powell River and Ethan Sundstrom of Port Alberni, and defencemen Brendan Grier of Calgary and Keagun Selva, also from Port Alberni.
The team also committed to North Island goalie Riley Mathieson and Port Alberni centre David Friel, a nephew of former NHL legend Joe Sakic.
“He’s from a good gene pool,” Ewing said of the 16-year-old Friel. “He’ll be a talented, fast skater, good hands, goal scorer. Young kid, but he’s going to be good.”
Also committing is Therin Hemstalk, a speedy forward from Sechelt who has an eye for the net.
“He’s five foot six, 140 pounds. Plays more like 6-5, 230. He’s just a really hard worker. Finishes all his hits. He’ll be a big time energy guy for us. Great with the boys,” Ewing said.
Goalie Blake Pearsen of Sechelt is returning for another year.
“I love my Sechelt boys,” Ewing said. “I had three of them the last two years. Good kids.”
Ewing expects to see two more skaters from south of the border who have been playing prep school hockey in Missouri.
“There’s still some searching to do on that top-end scoring, but our defence is going to be the best in the league,” said Ewing, who will also consider players at Port Alberni’s camp. “We have most of our defence already picked.”
Defender Derian Hamilton has been named team captain for the season.
About 30 skaters will suit up for the Glacier Kings’ training camp Aug. 29-31, from which Ewing will likely select 23 players.
The team hosts the Oceanside Generals and Nanaimo Buccaneers in exhibition games Saturday, Aug. 30 and Sunday, Aug. 31, respectively, at the Comox Valley Sports Centre. The puck drops at 1 p.m. for both games.
The Yetis launch their regular season Sept. 5 on the road at Campbell River Storm and play their home opener Sept. 6 against the Kerry Park Islanders.
The team is looking for host families for the upcoming season. Call 250-334-4709 for more information.