Photo credit: James Doyle (Cariboo Cougars)
The Powell River Kings would like to welcome 2000-born defenceman Nathan Kelly to the team for the 2017/2018 season.
The 5’11, 175lb blue liner out of Vancouver has spent the past two years with the Greater Vancouver Canadians of the BC Major Midget League. In 68 games, Kelly scored twice, while adding 35 assists. All but two of those points came last season in a breakout year for the puck moving defenceman.
“It was a really big summer last year, where I worked really hard and practiced hard as well in a bid to come into the season better”, said Kelly on his improved stat line. “We had a great group of guys on the team this year and they really helped me grow and develop and I tried to do the same for them.”
The jump to Junior A will be a challenge according to Kelly, however it’s the culmination of many years of hard work and dedication to his game.
“It’s a really exciting feeling and something I’ve wanted for a really long time now”, said Kelly. “This was a huge goal for me that’s been reached and now it’s onto the next big thing that I have to do which is to adjust to the BCHL. The BCHL is obviously a fast, high end league. Guys will be a lot bigger and stronger and something that I’ll have to work on and get used to.”
“You always want those puck moving defencemen in your lineup”, said Kings Head Coach and GM Kent Lewis. “Nathan brings a lot to the table. He’s young, and developing really well. He sees the ice well, he’s well rounded in his game and he’ll come in to our program and continue to develop among a pretty solid veteran core and it’ll be a good transition for him.”
Kelly’s chance with the Kings came through the teams annual Spring Camp in Kamloops back in May. It’s a pathway to the main roster that has proven fruitful over the years, with several past and present players first showing their stuff in the Spring.
“An opportunity came up to go to Spring Camp in May, and in doing research for that I learnt how good the organization is in the community and how much work they put into picking the right guys, so all that all seemed to fit pretty well with what I wanted”, said Kelly.
Kelly will join his new team mates ahead of camp in the last two weeks of August.
The Kings would like to welcome Nathan and his family to the Kings organization.