The end result of the 2021/ 2022 season may not have been ideal for the Campbell River Storm, but there is still plenty to celebrate now that it’s in the club’s rear view mirror.
It’s the lot of a Junior B team to constantly be changing, so it’s of the utmost importance to acknowledge when a squad is remarkable, and this one was.
At times it was ranked among the very best in the province, which was of note considering it missed weeks-upon-weeks of playing on home ice due to an untimely strike at the local arena.
Out of a score of excellent players to choose from, the team’s MVP was a no-brainer for coach Lee Stone.
“Petey was an all-star in every sense of the word,” the proud coach said of goaltender Nick Peters.”We really questioned how we were going to replace Aaron de Kok, who had been our starting goaltender for three years.
“We thought we’re going to lose a step between the pipes, but he came in as a young guy, and did the opposite.”
Peters finished the season with an impressive 28-1-2 record, sporting a 1.85 goals against average, and a .929 save percentage.
The team’s captain also received high praise from Stone. Nolan Corrado won the Colin Blake award as the team’s top scorer. He racked up 59 points in 41 games over the course of the season.
“He’s a great offensive player,” Stone said, and a really great playmaker, especially for his size.”
The Storm’s loss will be the Okanagan Lakers’ gain, as Corrado moves on this off-season. His coach wished him the best with the move.
“It’s awesome to see Nolan move on up to continue his career.”
Carter de Boer was a revelation in his first year with the club, Stone noted.
He won the Rookie of the Year award, the Bill Walker Memorial award, and was co-recipient (with Mitchell Finner) of the Mike Rushton 3 Stars award.
“He was a top recruit coming to us, so we knew he would be good, but I don’t think anyone, maybe even including himself, knew he would be as good as he was,” Stone said.
“Before he was injured he was scoring at a goal-a-game pace through his first 29 games. That’s essentially unheard of. It just doesn’t happen at our level, especially for a rookie.”
The 19-year-old Albertan already has a couple Junior A offers, and Stone thinks he will succeed at the next level too.
‘He finds a way every night to prove something offensively,” his coach said.
Best All Around Player, and Playoff MVP went to Jalen Price.
“He was a leader in every sense of the word,” Stone said. “He played hard on both ends of the ice, and did all the little things.”
Despite suffering a late season injury, Price played some of the best hockey of his season during the playoffs, finding the back of the net seven times in nine games.
Tynan Peacock won a pair of end-of-season awards, claiming the Best Defenceman honour, as well as the Broadcaster award.
“He was a star player for us,” Stone said. “A great skater who is very hard to play against, and very talented offensively.
“He was a guy who left his mark in every way.”
Peacock’s ability to give a good quote helped earn him the Broadcaster award.
“He’s very outspoken, quite vocal, and boisterous,” his coach said. “He certainly wasn’t afraid to be in front of a mic.
“And he matched that intensity and personality on the ice.”
Justin Gyori was also a multi-award winning player. He was voted Most Improved Player, and received the Jordan Rauser Captain’s award.
As one of the top recruits from last summer, expectations were high for Gyori. When he struggled early on, he made a point to turn the ship around, and did just that.
The 18-year-old from Alberta sat down with an assistant coach, and went over video tape to address the issues he was having offensively, and it worked.
“Over the final 40 games he was a point-a-game player,” Stone said. “And by the end of the year he was one of our top-six forwards.”
The reliability earned him recognition from the leader of the team.
“Any player that wins (the captain’s) award can be proud,” Stone said. “Your captain votes you as the guy who promotes that team concept the best.”
A lot will happen before next season’s awards are handed out.
Up next for Stone is a whole lot of recruiting.
“We have our showcase tournament coming up in the third weekend of July (22-24),” he noted.
“Anyone who wants to come watch that is more then welcome to. There’ll be games all day every day, and we’ll bring all our recruits, and our returning players.”
Following that, the squad will shape up and get ready for the Storm’s pre-season camp on August 19.