Sunday, May 3, 2009

Naka to Trail

(Naka from the Rockets website)

The Trail Smoke Eaters have added a promising young defenceman with a mean streak. 1992 born Brett Naka has committed to the Smokies from the Okanagan Rockets in BC Major Midget. What can we expect from Naka? Well in 37 games for the Rockets last year he scored once and had five points. I talked to him yesterday at Kootenay Chrysler Bull-A-Rama and he admits he's not going to score you many goals. Naka is a physical, defensive defenceman who told me he has a mean streak, likes to win battles in the corner, likes to block shots and is willing to drop the gloves.

Is he? Oh yeah, he did it three times at spring camp! I'm told he even took on a Smokies vet.

When I asked him about having a mean streak he smiled and laughed. From talking to people at the spring camp you could tell this kid loves to hit and loves to play physical. He's also got the size to do it. At 16 years old for the Rockets he was 6'1 and 180lbs. There's still lots of growing to do. Just talking to Jim Ingram about Naka I can tell the Smokies Coach and GM is excited about what he'll bring to the roster.

You have to like it when a player understands his strengths and doesn't try to turn himself into something he isn't. Naka knows he's not a finesse player, but he relishes what he can do well and puts everything he has into doing it. I'm looking forward to seeing him in the orange and black.

I'll have an interview with Naka as well as Matt Wilkins tomorrow on Mountain FM's Overtime. Wilkins was also a guest of the Smoke Eater at Bull-A-Rama. He seems like a good guy as well as a tremendous golfer. Coach Ingram told me that Wilkins just destroyed him at Birchbank. If you're not in our broadcast area you can stay tuned to the blog for those interviews in a couple of days.


...What a start to the WHL Championship for the Kelowna Rockets! Former Smoke Eater Lucas Bloodoff had two assists yesterday in Kelowna's 5-2 win over Calgary. Evan Bloodoff (Lucas' brother who is also from Castlegar) had a goal and a couple of helpers in the win. The Rockets now lead the series 2-0 after two road wins. Calgary hadn't lost a game in the entire playoffs before this weekend! People keep underestimating Kelowna while the Rockets just keep winning games.

...At the Royal Bank Cup the Vernon Vipers got off to a great start today with a 4-2 win over Summerside. Montrose's Connor Jones scored twice in the win. How clutch have the Jones twins been in the playoffs so far?

...You can vote for Trail's Jason Bay as the Major League Baseball clutch player of the month. Click here to vote for Bay against five other guys. The Boston Red Sox outfielder hit more clutch home runs in April than a lot of players ever hit.

...For the second straight year Claresholm, Alberta's Chad Besplug won the Kootenay Chrysler Bull-A-Rama. Congrats to Chad and to all the people who made it a great event again this year.

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