Aaron Kasper goes after a puck in front of the Victoria Cougars bench on Sept. 17.

Sooke hockey player Aaron Kasper tries out for Victoria Grizzlies

Sooke hockey player Aaron Kasper recently had an up-close-and-personal grizzly encounter.

Sooke hockey player Aaron Kasper recently had an up-close-and-personal grizzly encounter.

Kasper, a former Westshore Stinger, trained with the Victoria Grizzlies at their Bear Mountain Arena main camp  right before the start of the season, and said it was unlike anything he’s experienced.

“Playing at that level it was a lot faster than I was used to, but it was good,” said the 18-year-old defenceman, who is playing for the Kerry Park junior B team in Cowichan Valley this year.

He said normally players are only invited to the main camp by first going through a prospects and then a juniors camp, but Kasper’s coach Brad Scafe had contacts with the Grizzlies who said they were in need of D men this year.

“There were five or six kids from my team there, our goalie made it pretty far,” said Kasper.

The camp was a tournament style with a playoff, with winners having a chance to place somewhere on the Grizzlies’ roster. Kasper’s team placed third.

An EMCS graduate, he was also a product of their hockey program that Kasper said was excellent. It primed him for hockey past the high school level like when he joined the Stingers in 2010, which he said “wasn’t really a winning team.” That is not an exaggeration — in the half season that he played for them, they recorded only one win against Campbell River.

Disillusioned, Kasper decided to step down a level and played for Sooke midget A hockey the latter half of the season, and ended up capturing silver with the club. After that, he had attended camps for a few junior B teams around the southern Island such as the Victoria Cougars and the Saanich Braves and decided on the Kerry Park Islanders.

“Our team is looking really, really good this year,” said Kasper. “The coaching is outstanding, and it’s a way better environment.”

This year his goal is to get back into the swing of higher-tier hockey and work on fundamentals to prepare him for a jump to junior A. Eventually, he even wants to take his skills abroad.

“I know a guy who just went to Amsterdam and played in Europe — I kind of want to do that because they have good leagues over there.”

 

Just Posted

Son of Second World War veteran returns to Norway to see site of rescue, repatriation

Six-man crew crash lands in Nazi occupied territory, only known instance of entire crew surviving

Colwood house helps homeless veterans get back on their feet

Cockrell House has helped more than 100 people since it was established in 2009

Colwood veteran recalls harrowing experience during Second World War

The 95 year old one of 32 survivors after German sub sinks warship

Legions help keep the memories alive

Legions offer many services for the community

Decades after her service in the Second World War, a local war hero honoured

Petty Officer Alice “Ruddy” Adams earned the Bletchley Park Commemorative Badge

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

Canadians mark Remembrance Day this morning

This year exactly 101 years to the day after the end of the First World War

Devils strike early, hang on for 2-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver now 0-8-3 in last 11 games versus New Jersey

Carbon monoxide poisoning incident brings dangers of the gas to light

Island community adult and child go to hospital for treatment

Zombie debt will haunt more Canadians as scourge of indebtedness rises: experts

Total debt per consumer has surged to $71,979 in the second quarter

Canada became home not only to war brides, but also to war grooms

Soldiers from other countries trained in Canada, fell for Canadian women and settled down post-war

Most Read