The new head coach/general manager of the beleaguered Comox Valley Glacier Kings is confident his team can be in the mix during the 2020/21 Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League season.
“It’s going to be a different team this year. We should be in every game,” Mike Nesbitt said. “I completely re-built the team, from scratch basically.”
Nesbitt brings 20-plus years of coaching and managing experience to the Junior B hockey club. He had been head coach/GM of the Ponoka Stampeders of the Heritage Junior B Hockey League (HJHL) in Alberta, prior to which he was a coach with the Oshawa Generals AAA midget team.
The Yetis won just a handful of games in each of the past few seasons. Last year, the team didn’t win a game until Nov. 23. In February, however, the Glacier Kings won four of eight games that month.
There are about 10 returning players this season, including forwards Damian Rennie (captain), Jordan Neufeld (assistant captain), Ryan Telford and Matthew Teasdale, and defender Boden Davis.
Along with eight 20-year-olds, there are also “five really good rookies,” said Nesbitt, whose son Bailey will play forward on this year’s squad.
Another new acquisition is 6’3” forward Khale Skinner, who played last season for the 100 Mile House Wranglers and the Columbia Valley Rockies in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL).
“He’s a goal-a-game guy in every league he’s ever been in,” Nesbitt said.
He also acquired goalie Jordan Wilde of Kelowna, who was drafted in the WHL and has played Junior A in Ontario. Campbell River’s Jayce Hudak, who played 16 games with the Campbell River Storm last season, will also tend net for the Yetis.
The Glacier Kings kicked off the season with a home-and-home against the Storm. The Kings lost 8-3 Friday in Campbell River and 7-5 Saturday at the Comox Valley Sports Centre.
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