I just spent an hour creating an alumni update and blogger completely destroyed it. Lovely! Well I'm not going to do it all over again. You can click some of those links yourself over at the Smoke Eaters Alumni page. What it doesn't say over there is that Travis Gawryletz has made the leap to the AHL to play on Lake Erie with Brett Skinner. Nice to see Travis make the leap and do a pretty strong job there so far. Hopefully the NHL (where Skinner has played before) is the next step for the son of Smokies President Tom Gawryletz.
Also our picture here is David Arduin and Stefan Decosse celebrating a big Geneseo goal. Arduin has 12 points so far this season while Decosse has 10. Much of that time the one time dynamic duo with the Smokies has been re-united. In fact, they recently threw former Trail Captain Ryan Bulach on the line to complete a Smoke Eaters trio. The line had a 12 point weekend before the holiday break. Hopefully we'll see them stick together and take the NCAA by storm. That's a group of guys who certainly made a big impression here at the Cominco Arena. Thanks to David for the photo by the way.
Another note on the alumni page is that Patrick Raley has been moved from Chicago in the USHL to St. Louis in the NAHL. The Bandits are the top club right now in the North American league so hopefully Raley can be a big part of that team making a championship run. I'm sure that's not what he expected when he left Trail in the off season to go to Chicago, but it looks like the Steel are looking to the future after some recent struggles. They traded Raley for a couple of young players despite what had been a successful year so far for Raley. The NAHL also features former Smoke Eater Braden Kinnebrew who plays for Kenai River.
There is currently one former Smoke Eater in the NHL, four are in the AHL, two in the ECHL, two are playing in Europe and a whole pile in college hockey. There are also a number of guys elsewhere in Junior A and Junior B. It's nice to see Scott Jago (Nelson KIJHL), CJ Legassic (Ridge Meadows PIJHL) and Matt Malenstyn (Aldergrove PIJHL) having great seasons. There are eight former Smoke Eaters scattered around the BCHL, two in the AJHL and even one in the LHJAAAQ.
If you have an update on a former Smoke Eater you'd like to pass on please send it to my e-mail. I'll have a full alumni update coming up again sometime soon. Hope to see you all at tomorrow night's game against Vernon.
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