Some terrific and long overdue news to pass on today as well. I did up a press release to announce Nick Sandor's commitment to AIC. He'll be playing NCAA Division I hockey for the Yellow Jackets next season.
After the way Nick has played over his two seasons in Trail you had to think it was only a matter of time before he got his opportunity. Sandor is a hard working and classy young man who earned everything he now has.
You only have to look back to his rookie season struggles to see how far he has come. Sandor battled injuries as an 18 year old with Alberni Valley and ended up with 3 points in 32 games. Did he give up on his dream? Far from it. Nick earned a new opportunity in Trail and leaped into a top 6 role with the club almost right away. He got Coach Ingram's attention with his play in practice and then made it count when Ingram gave him a chance on a line with Chad Gehon and Andrew Pickering.
It's one thing to expect opportunity to come your way and another thing to not only earn it, but make it stick. That's why Nick always found himself among the top forwards on the team for ice time over his two seasons in Trail.
Sandor produced as well as almost anyone in the BCHL last year whether it was on a line with Scott Jacklin and Sam Mellor or when he spent time with Michael Betz and Travis St. Denis. His hockey sense translated well to both of those lines because he just has a nose for the puck and the net. I'm sure he'll have a ton of success with the Yellow Jackets starting this fall.
Congrats Nick, it's well earned!
TRAIL, BC - The British Columbia Hockey League’s Trail Smoke Eaters are proud to announce that graduating forward Nick Sandor has committed to attend American International College. He will suit up for the NCAA Division I Yellow Jackets starting in the 2010/11 season.Again congratulations to Nick and his family for what is I'm sure a dream come true. I'm looking forward to seeing his name on the box score next year.
Sandor joined the Smoke Eaters in the fall of 2008 after an injury plagued rookie season with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. He immediately earned an opportunity with Trail’s top line and never looked back.
“We gave him that ice time and he grabbed the ball and ran with it,” said Smokies Coach Jim Ingram. “That was the result of his hard work. (Sandor) brought a very complete game to the rink every night.”
The North Vancouver native scored 106 points in 104 regular season games with the Smoke Eaters. He put up 30 goals last season to lead the team.
“I think I really started to come into my own in Trail because of the environment that surrounded me,” said Sandor. “I grew a great amount of confidence playing there because it was for me a perfect combination of trust and belief in the players; but at the same time a level of accountability that pushed you to play like you should.”
The Okanagan Hockey Academy graduate took his time picking the right spot for his post-secondary career.
“I had several different looks as to what next year was going look like,” Sandor said. “But after dealing with everything and going down there the choice was easy. I feel like it's a place I can definitely succeed in both athletically and academically.”
Sandor certainly abides by the motto that states once you’ve played for the Smokies
you’re a Smoke Eater for life.
“My time in Trail meant everything to me,” he said. “It was a great experience that I give mass amounts of credit to. From all the staff around the team to all the guys on the team, Trail was full of good people that really made me enjoy the two seasons I spent there.”
“I hope for great success for the Smokies in years to come.”
For more information contact Smoke Eaters Coach and General Manager Jim Ingram at 250-364-9994 or visit http://www.trailsmokeaters.com/
Here's a video of Sandor highlights I made up in December...