The Campbell River Storm is adding more local talent to its roster for the upcoming Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League Season (VIJHL). Forward Riley Billy, of Campbell River, is the latest skater to join the Junior B squad this off-season.
Billy, a 6-foot-one-inch, 178-pound right-handed winger has the ability to play both wings and will likely step into an offensive role for the team, said Storm Head Coach and General Manager Lee Stone.
“Riley is a very dynamic player with a high IQ for the game,” he said.
The 18-year-old skater joins previously announced 2020/21 squad members Tynan Peacock, Keenan Toal, Aidan Fraser, Mitch Finner, Jackson Dyke, Aaron de Kok and Pearce Messer.
Billy spent last season with the U18 Prep Team at Shawnigan Lake Academy. In 29 games in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League last season, he had 16 points (eight goals and eight assists).
He also played 10 games in the regular season as an affiliate player with the Storm, picking up seven points (five goals and two assists).
— Campbell River Storm (@CR_STORM) May 12, 2020
Billy said his affiliate player experience factored into his decision to sign with the team.
“It was awesome, especially since it wasn’t far away from Shawnigan. I was able to suit up for a lot of games,” he said. “Coach Stone always trusted me in key situations.”
Playing for his hometown team was a simple decision.
“I grew up watching the Storm play. Now having the opportunity to become a member of the team is thrilling,” he said. “The number one attraction to me is how community-driven the program is. I am very excited to play in the Brindy (Rod Brind’Amour Arena) on Friday nights as I know the atmosphere is very energetic.”
The young skater said he wants to develop his game with the Storm, but knows Junior A is the next step.
“My goal is to contribute whatever it takes to win a championship this year and move on the collegiate hockey one day,” he said. “I am a gritty player who likes to play in the corners and on the forecheck. My offence is highlighted by my shot and vision.”
Stone said he wouldn’t be surprised if Billy made the jump to Junior A this year.
“We are very lucky he chose to come home as a backup plan,” the coach said.
Billy is set to attend the Storm’s main camp, currently scheduled for August, before going to a Jr. A camp.
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