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Nanaimo Clippers hockey team, filled with top prospects, open camp

B.C. Hockey League club starts pre-season Sept. 3 on the road
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Nanaimo Clippers players scrimmage at Frank Crane Arena on the first day of camp Friday, Sept. 1. The team starts the pre-season Sunday, Sept. 3, on the road. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

The B.C. Hockey League’s pre-season starts on Labour Day weekend, and the Nanaimo Clippers will get a chance to look at a crop of new talent who will be wearing orange and black for the first time.

The BCHL issued a press release last week about the Clippers’ new additions, with new assistant coach Curtis Toneff providing scouting reports.

One of the team’s exciting prospects is one of the youngest players, Chase Hull, a 16-year-old forward from Ottawa who already has an NCAA Div. 1 commitment to Penn State University. He led his U18 team last year with 33 goals and 63 points and Toneff said he’ll be a top-nine forward with the Clippers.

“He’s so smart that we know he will figure it out and be one of those 16-year-olds that puts up numbers,” the assistant coach said.

Another newcomer to watch will be defenceman Isa Parekh, who comes to B.C. for his 20-year-old season after two full seasons playing junior A in Ontario. He was second in his league in scoring by defencemen with 61 points in 54 games.

“He’s a very dynamic, elite offensive defenceman…” Toneff said. “He’s going to be a threat on the power play and a threat at 5-on-5 as well.”

Another veteran blueliner from Ontario will be Andrew Brown, who captained the Oakville Blades last season and led the D group with 36 points in 52 games and is a “really steady” two-way defenceman, according to Toneff.

Nanaimo will be adding two players from the Mount Academy Saints program in P.E.I. Samuel Boisvert and Gus El-Tahhan are both forwards who put up huge numbers last year. Boisvert, from Mirabel, Que., is a 6-foot-4, 200-pounder who scored 45 goals and 127 points in 63 games, while El-Tahhan, from New Maryland, N.B., scored 63 goals and 119 points in 65 games.

Another promising forward is Cole Lonsdale, from Mississauga, Ont., who has an NCAA commitment to the Rochester Institute of Technology.

In goal, Thomas Kiesewetter, from Plymouth, Mass., is the prospective starter. The 6-foot-6 netminder was at Columbus Blue Jackets development camp and already has an Ivy League scholarship to Princeton.

GAME ON … The Clippers start exhibition play against the Victoria Grizzlies on the road Sunday, Sept. 3. The first home pre-season game is Friday, Sept. 8, versus the Alberni Valley Bulldogs at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena. Visit www.nanaimoclippers.com.

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