As Hockey Canada gears up for the 2017-18 international season, a couple of players with local ties have appeared on the radar.
Former Cowichan Valley Capitals defenceman Geoff Kinrade is apparently going to get consideration for the men’s Olympic team, while Shawnigan Lake School product Jacson Alexander is getting a look for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
The Nelson-born Kinrade, who played for the Caps from 2003 to 2005, has been named to the Team Canada roster for the 2017 Sochi Open, running this week. The Sochi Open and the 2017 Tournament of Nikolai Puchkov in mid August are Hockey Canada’s first attempts at identifying players for the 2018 Olympic team, for which NHL players will not be available. Kinrade has played in the Kontinental Hockey League for the last three seasons, and has signed with Kunlun Red Star for 2017-18.
Also competing in the Sochi Open is Metallurg Magnitogorsk, the KHL team that signed Duncan’s Matt Ellison over the summer. A top scorer in the KHL, Ellison’s name has also been bandied about in conversations about the 2018 Olympic team.
Alexander, who spent the last two years at Shawnigan Lake School, playing with the bantam prep team in 2016-17 and the prep team in 2017-18, was invited to the U17 Development Camp in Calgary late last month.
Also a defenceman, Alexander had eight points in 15 games with Shawnigan last season, and has committed to play in the B.C. Hockey League with the Victoria Grizzlies this coming season. The Victoria native has already secured a scholarship to the University of Denver starting in 2019.