Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Gehon to Alaska Fairbanks

(#26 Gehon with Trail - Photo Randy Emery)

Congratulations are in order today for former Smoke Eater Chad Gehon. He's earned himself a spot with the NCAA Division 1 squad at Alaska Fairbanks. Click here to read the article at the BCHL website. Gehon finished the season with Westside, but he played his best hockey as a member of the Trail Smoke Eaters. After being moved to Trail from Merritt in the off season, Gehon went from a point a game player to a top 10 scorer in the league. He worked hard on his game throughout the summer and during the season to continue his evolution into a dominant performer at this level. Gehon was a huge part of Trail's early success which included a stint in first place and a few weeks in the national rankings. His early chemistry with Andrew Pickering and Nick Sandor was a pleasure to watch. Later on Gehon would help elevate Travis St. Denis' game when they played together.

The Smokies ended up moving Gehon to Westside (through Merritt) at the trade deadline so they could add Scott Jacklin to their line-up. Jacklin will be eligible to play for two more seasons and Trail's slide in the standings at the time likely made it easier to see the future Jacklin could bring when Gehon would be done. That being said, Trail did miss Gehon's presence as they struggled to find goals down the stretch.

It took Gehon a while to fit in with Westside as they had established units in their top 6. When he eventually found chemistry with Cam Reid they made up 2/3 of the Warriors' most dangerous line in the series against Trail. Westside looked poised to make a serious run at Salmon Arm in the second round until injuries really took the wind out of their sails.

After all the improvements Gehon made over the last season I'm very glad to see he was rewarded with this opportunity to play at the highest level of NCAA hockey. Congrats Chad, you deserve it! He may not be committing to Alaska Fairbanks as a member of the Smoke Eaters, but everyone in Trail is surely very proud of what he's achieved after a great season here. Plus when you're a Smoke Eater, you're a Smoke Eater for life.

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