Nanaimo Clippers players celebrate a goal in B.C. Hockey League play last season. The 2019-20 campaign gets underway Sept. 6 as the Clippers host the Cowichan Valley Capitals at Frank Crane Arena.

The puck drops now! Junior Clippers chart exciting new course

B.C. Hockey League club looks to connect with the community on and off the ice

Junior hockey fans in Nanaimo have cheered the likes of Matt Irwin, Jason Garrison, Tanner Glass, Colin Greening, Sheldon Rempal and others over the years at Frank Crane Arena.

Add in the fact the Nanaimo Clippers have won four B.C. Hockey League titles and it’s clear this team can generate a lot of buzz around town.

With that in mind and excitement building for the 2019-20 BCHL season and home opener Sept. 6, you’ll frequently see the hashtag #wherehistorybegins, says Tali Campbell, the Clippers’ Director of Business Operations and Alternate Governor.

“The Clippers have a rich history in Nanaimo; we’re a community team with a great fan base,” he says. “Young players come here to chase their dreams, and they’ve been supported by the community, the fans and the ownership, which since 2017 has been Wes Mussio.”

Here’s some exciting things the Clippers have planned for this season:

  1. Building on their successes – Nanaimo fans had lots to cheer about in 2018-19 and the team is looking to build on that. With new faces and returning veterans like new captain Ethan Scardena, Joshua Bourne, Aiden Hansen-Bukata and Devon Mussio, they’re sure to entertain.
  2. Pitching in around the city – With the club’s dedication to community, you’ll find Clippers players helping at numerous public events and fundraisers. “Our goal this year is to make sure we’re at every community event that we can be,” Campbell says.
  3. Get on the ice with the Clippers – The club’s Seventh Player Program, sponsored by Coastal Community Credit Union, sees initiation division minor hockey players on the ice with the big guys for warmups and O Canada during home games. Older Nanaimo Clippers rep players may also be invited to practice with the junior club, Campbell says.
  4. Sail into the new season – Get started with a Nanaimo Clippers’ Home Opener Pack, which gives you two tickets for game 1, two vouchers for a future game, plus other goodies, all for just $65.

Education and hockey go together

Nine BCHL players were drafted by NHL clubs this summer and many more will play college or university hockey this season. A record total of 164 BCHL players from last season, including seven from the Clippers, had committed to a post-secondary institution. While playing here, most Nanaimo players attend local high schools or take classes at VIU.

“Not all BCHL players make the NHL, but a lot of them become successful in other fields,” Campbell says. “Getting our players out in the community and showing them life outside of hockey helps build good citizens.”

*****

Local fans, volunteers, billets and sponsors have helped the Clippers operate in Nanaimo since 1972, Campbell says, thanking them for their support. Connect with your junior hockey team online at nanaimoclippers.com or on Facebook.

 

Nanaimo Clippers right winger Tyler Williams bears down on a Victoria Grizzlies opponent during B.C. Hockey League action last season. Williams, who chalked up 55 points in 53 regular season games with the Clippers, is back for another season. Photo by Kevin Light

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