The Campbell River Storm is adding some fresh blood to its offence.
The north division Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) team announced two more signings this week. Nanaimo’s Mitch Finner and Coquitlam’s Aidan Fraser will be suiting up for the Storm next season.
The pair both had career-best seasons with their respective clubs and played as affiliates for the Storm in multiple regular season and playoff games.
Storm Coach and General Manager Lee Stone announced Finner’s signing on April 28.
“Finner is a big time recruit for us and that became very evident with his performance down the stretch and into the playoffs with us last season as an affiliate player,” he said.
The 17-year-old forward has 79 BC Major Midget Hockey League games under his belt. Last season, he recorded career-high stats with seven goals, 14 assists and 32 penalty minutes over 39 games with the North Island Silvertips.
Finner played three regular season games with the Storm, logging one goal and one assist, and three playoff games in the first round series against the Nanaimo Buccaneers when he scored one goal.
Stone said Finner has a lot of confidence on the ice and has shown chemistry with the Messer brothers (Quinn and Pearce).
“His offensive instincts down the middle will be a great addition with some of the talented wingers we have returning,” he said.
The five-foot-11, 160-pound centre said he had a positive experience as an affiliate player (AP) with the Storm last season.
“From the day I first came out, the group of guys made me feel welcome and I was lucky to be given lots of opportunities in the games from the coaching staff,” Finner said.
He was attracted to the hockey program in Campbell River.
“I have heard only good things about the program and experienced first-hand,” said Finner. “I believe that with the guys returning and the new recruits, we are going to have a good run at a championship.”
Finner will be joined by Fraser in the forward role.
Stone announced the 18-year-old’s signing on May 1.
“Aidan played eight games with us last year for a reason,” he said. “Quite frankly, he was ready to play for our club last season in September and got better every time he wore a Storm sweater.”
Over the last two seasons, Fraser played 70 Midget Prep U18 games in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League with Pacific Coast Hockey Academy. He had a strong season last year logging six goals, 18 assists and 18 penalty minutes over 34 games.
“He is strong defensively, supports the puck, fast and fearless on the forecheck,” said Stone. “He is a guy that will win you battles and do the little things it takes to win.”
Fraser played seven regular season games as a Storm affiliate last season. He also suited up in one playoff game against the Buccaneers.
Fraser said he chose to sign on with the Storm due to the program’s reputation.
“They have a well-known history of success and a strong work ethic and compete level,” he said. “There is also accountability and the high level expectation (from teammates and coaches).”
Both Finner and Fraser are expected to be at the Storm’s ID Tournament, currently scheduled for July 17-19.
They join the team’s previously announced players on the 2020/21 squad including goalie Aaron de Kok, forward Pearce Messer and defenceman Jackson Dyke.