Smoke Eaters Hope Development Camps are a sign of Hockey to Come

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The Trail Smoke Eaters would prefer to be preparing for training camp but are pleased to be resuming hockey related activities.

Director of Hockey and Business Operations Craig Clare said getting players and coach’s ready for upcoming skills and development camps at Cominco Arena are a welcomed development after their playoff run came to an abrupt end in March because of COVID-19.

"It's exciting we were able to put something together with the season being pushed back, is run some skills development camps for minor hockey age players from the U-9's to the U-18's starting on August 17th," said Clare who said the organization is happy to reconnect with kids who are just as anxious to get back onto the ice.

"Our goal all along and I think we did a good job last year was getting into the community with our minor hockey teams and players and working on skills development and this gives us a chance to get on the ice with them," said Clare.

The minor hockey sessions will be followed by the I-D camp for players on the verge of making the jump to Junior Hockey, something Clare said also got postponed because of the pandemic.

"That's similar to the camp that we usually run in April for our prospects and we weren't able to obviously because of COVID, so we're lucky with the season being pushed back to be able to fit one in later in August."  

The I-D camp starts on August 21 with the Junior and Pro Skills development camp slated to begin August 24.

The BCHL is still discussing protocols and guidelines for beginning the 2020-21 season with provincial health authorities and league officials indicated they hope to have more information by mid-month. 

Commissioner Chris Hebb said they hope to know which teams are prepared to proceed with the season by the beginning of August.