A young Campbell River hockey player is following in his father’s footsteps.
Wyatt Murray has joined the Campbell River Storm, becoming the first second-generation player in the team’s history, it announced last week.
Murray, 16, said he’s wanted to play for his hometown team ever since he was nine years old.
“I always thought it would be so cool to play for the Storm,” he said. “My dad played for the Storm, so it makes me happy to be wearing the same jersey – just like him.”
Ben Murray played for the Junior B squad for two seasons starting in 1997. He averaged 1.2 points per game. During his time with the team, the Storm won the VIJHL Championship as well as the Cyclone Taylor Cup in 1999.
“That night was an amazing experience,” said Murray.
He suited up for the Storm five times as an affiliate player last season, the maximum allowed for a 15-year-old. Three of those games were at the team’s home arena.
“Whenever I got the call-up, I was super excited. The arena atmosphere at the Brindy was insane,” he said. “The team dressing room is very nice and we are treated very professionally.”
Murray fit in with the team right away. Even as one of the youngest players on the ice, he wasn’t afraid to get in the middle of the action, said Coach and General Manager Lee Stone.
— Campbell River Storm (@CR_STORM) May 29, 2020
“Wyatt plays a heavy game,” he said. “He has the ability to play both wings and we fully expect that he will be ready to play at our level physically.”
Murray climbed the minor hockey ranks in Campbell River, spending time with both the Bantam Tyees and the Campbell River Hockey Academy before moving to Nanaimo last year to further his hockey career.
The six-foot, 173-pound right-handed winger spent the 2019/20 season with the North Island Silvertips Minor Midget team, where he was an assistant captain. Over 28 games with the team, he logged 11 points (nine goals and two assists). He also affiliated with the Major Midget Silvertips for three games where he logged an assist. He also logged an assist during his games with the Storm.
Stone expects Murray’s time with the team to be short as he continues to advance his game in other leagues.
“The potential for this young man is extremely high and we hope to be a short stop in his Junior Hockey career as he strives for Junior A and beyond,” said Stone.
Murray is expected to attend the Storm’s ID Tournament this summer, which is currently scheduled for July 17-19, 2020.