The Trail Smoke Eaters are one of the teams the cancelation of the 2019-20 season due to COVID-19 hurt the most. After a regular season where they finished second to Penticton in the Interior Division, the Smokies swept Prince George in the first round of the playoffs and was set to face Salmon Arm in the second round.
Most of Trail’s core players are moving on to school this fall, including Canadian Junior Hockey League top forward and BCHL most valuable player Kent Johnson, who’s off to the University of Michigan. All told, six of the Smoke Eaters top scorers won’t be back. Trail gets a major boost with the return of Owen Ozar, who’s been named captain for 2020-21. He was third in scoring with 26 goals and 40 assists in 54 games. Max Kryski is the next highest scoring forward eligible to return, he had 26 points in 57 games.
The blueline is a source of strength for Trail, with half of the Smokies regular defensemen able to come back in 2020-21. While Kyle Pow, Trevor Isaksson, and Kyle Budvarson won’t entirely make up for the loss of Diarmad DiMurro, Cody Schiavon, and Powell Connor, they represent a very solid foundation.
In goal, the Smoke Eaters boast a huge piece returning to the squad next season in Logan Terness. The 17-year-old was named BCHL rookie of the year along with being named to the league’s all-rookie team as well as the second all-star team. He had a stellar record of 27-10-0 to go along with a 2.36 goals-against-average, a .932 save percentage, and one shutout.
The depth chart is based on coaches going with a 23-man roster of 13 forwards, eight defensemen and two goaltenders.
All college commitment years are collated from each player’s profile on the Smoke Eaters roster on the BCHL website.
Kent Johnson (University of Michigan)
Philippe Lapointe (University of Michigan)
Braden Costello (University of North Dakota)
Michael Colella (Colorado College)
Tyler Ghirardosi (Quinnipiac University)
Matt Osadick (University of Maine)
Connor Sweeney (University of New Hampshire)
Diarmad DiMurro (Rochester Institute of Technology)
Powell Connor (Michigan State University)
Cody Schiavon (Yale University)
Carson Briere (Mercyhurst University)
Jameson Murray (aged out)
Matteo Paler-Chow (aged out)
(* indicates an open spot – assuming the team goes with 13 forwards and eight defencemen)
Max Kryski (00)
Owen Ozar (00)
Jaden Senkoe (01)
Chase Dafoe (02)
Walker Erickson (02)
Trevor Isaksson (00)
Kyle Budvarson (00)
Kyle Pow (00)
Jackson Murphy-Johnson (02)
Logan Terness (02)