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

Juan de Fuca CRD director wins in a landslide

Mike Hicks elected for fourth time.

Merner set to run for federal Green Party

Victoria lawyer ran for Liberals in 2015

2018 municipal election: Few surprises on Vancouver Island

16 incumbent mayors will continue in their positions for four more years

Last chance to vote in 2018 municipal election

Polls close Saturday night at 8 p.m. for mayoral, councillor and school board

Two new faces on the Sooke School Board

Bob Beckett and Allison Watson become SD62 trustees

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. man sets new Canadian marathon record at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Cam Levins ran it in two hours nine minutes 25 seconds

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Leaving B.C.’s electoral reform to a referendum is ‘ridiculous’: professor

B.C. voters getting ballots in the mail on proposal to change electoral system

Most Read