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

Sooke passes budget with 7.17% tax increase

Six positions added to municipal ranks

Langford man sentenced to 15 months for child pornography collection

Andre Mollon sentenced for posession of more than 1,000 child pornography images and 70 videos

Victoria crash threatens shipyard’s schedule for new coast guard ships

Delivery of the vessel was already years overdue

Victoria Police Department’s K9s help make three arrests

Police Services Dogs Alpha and Zender have had a busy few weeks

Saanich police arrest suspected purse snatcher after witness tracks him down

Man known to police attempted to steal the purses from Red Robin restaurant

VIDEO: The ‘most cosmopolitan’ of butterflies could migrate to B.C.

The painted lady butterfly will likely arrive this summer from Southern California

Sentencing begins for indecent caller

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

COLUMN: Smart phone too powerful a tool to yank from students’ hands

Rather than ban them from schools, let’s teach kids to harness their phone’s power and use it properly

B.C. river cleanup crew finds bag of discarded sex toys

Chilliwack volunteers stumble on unexpected find while removing 600 lbs of trash from riverway

Most Read