Brendan Pawliw

The man behind the mask: Spruce Kings netminder Aaron Trotter

Aaron Trotter wanted to push the envelope when designing his new mask.

The star 20-year-old netminder for the Prince George Spruce Kings left no stone unturned when it came to his brand new design. Trotter, who is from Victoria, BC, is Métis and wanted to bring some Indigenous flavour to his new mask.

“I really started looking into my past when I was at Shawnigan (Lake School) because they have a really good program that helps you educate yourself more about it. So, I had the honor of representing Team BC at the Indigenous Games in 2018 and since then it’s been a big part of my life,” described Trotter.

“I thought I would tie it into the mask a little bit just to give it a little honour.” A big part of the design has the city’s official mascot Mr. PG waving the Métis flag on the back portion of the mask.

Residential school connection

Trotter mentioned the discovery of the unmarked graves related to Canada’s residential school system in Kamloops, BC and elsewhere this past year added some fuel to the fire.

“You are always taught about it growing up and it’s such a horrific thing. I am very thankful I didn’t have to go through it and more or less it brought more awareness to everyone,” added Trotter.

As for the rest of the mask, Trotter said there is no shortage of inspiration.

“A big thing on my bucket list is to see the northern lights. I haven’t really seen them in full effect except for in the mountains,” said Trotter. “Then we have the 50th anniversary logo (for the Spruce Kings) and then I have a little scary snowman on the side with the Spruce Kings logo on the side.”

“At the back, I have the thumbs up from my grandpa. Ever since I was little, every time I would say bye to him, he was always at the balcony giving two thumbs up, saying ‘Good’. Then I have a little quote where it says ‘Don’t tell me the skies the limit when there are footprints on the moon.'”

Trotter says the quote signifies that he wants to go out every night and show his potential between the pipes for the Spruce Kings and not be defined by having limits or limitations.

Proving it on the ice

Since joining the Spruce Kings last season, which culminated in the Chilliwack pod, Trotter has sparkled in goal. He posted a 7-3-1 record, which included two shutouts to go along with a 1.63 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage.

So far this season, Trotter continues to be consistent, solidifying himself as one of the top netminders in the BC Hockey League. For his efforts, received a commitment from St. Thomas University of the NCAA’s Division I ranks for the 2022-23 season.

“I am just incredibly thankful to have received this offer and it (is) something I have always dreamed about. I called my parents, and it was a very emotional phone call. They have always supported me and were incredibly happy for me to be given this opportunity,” said Trotter.

Joining Trotter at St. Thomas in September 2022 is new Spruce Kings teammate Luc Laylin. The University of St. Thomas is located in St. Paul, Minnesota, and it competes in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.