Higher education and a higher level of hockey have Comox’s Jackson Garrett off to Castlegar to play for the Selkirk College Saints men’s hockey team.
On May 2 the Saints announced a commitment from Garrett to attend Selkirk College and compete for the Saints beginning in the 2012-13 B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League season.
Garrett joins the Saints following four seasons in the BCHL and VIJHL, where he concluded his junior career with his hometown Comox Valley Glacier Kings. The six-foot-three winger captained the Glacier Kings during the 2011-12 season and led the team with 28 goals and 60 points in 39 games played. Those totals were good for second and fourth respectively amongst all VIJHL skaters, while his 165 penalty minutes were the second most in the league.
The 20-year-old previously spent three seasons in the British Columbia Hockey League, totalling 35 goals and 73 points in 106 games split among the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, Cowichan Valley Capitals and Powell River Kings. During the 2009-10 season he was the Capitals’ second leading scorer with 22 goals and 51 points in 50 games played.
“Jackson brings good size and a great deal of ability and experience to our lineup,” said Saints’ head coach Jeff Dubois in a press release. “He’s a prototypical power forward who plays his best when he’s disruptive in the offensive zone and using his size to create scoring opportunities. I expect him to adjust quickly to the college game and be a key player in our lineup from day one.”
“I’m excited to be coming to Selkirk College, not only for the education
I’ll obtain but also for the high level of hockey and the chance to play
with some friends I’ve made over my hockey career,” says Garrett. “I’m an unorthodox skater but I play with a high level of intensity. I’ve got good hands, a good shot and finish around the net. In my first year I hope I can be a part of Selkirk becoming an elite team in our league, while excelling as much as I can individually and enhancing my skills.”
Glacier Kings’ co-owner Marsha Webb said the team was thrilled to learn that Garrett was continuing his hockey career and pursuing his studies in Castlegar. “It shows other players it isn’t all over just because you’ve aged out (of junior hockey),” Webb said.
She added that such opportunities are a growing trend, citing Portage College in Alberta that is recruiting hard and offering full-ride scholarships including the trades. “The scouts at the Keystone Cup in Saskatoon this year were looking at 20-year-olds. This is a whole new realm of thinking out there.”
Webb notes Garrett is the latest in a long line of Glacier Kings to continue their hockey career at the college or university level. Last year ex-Yetis Kelin Hrycuik, Michael Graham and Alex Orr enjoyed solid seasons with the Grant MacEwan Griffins in Edmonton.
ICE CHIPS Garrett’s presence in the Saints’ lineup should certainly bolster an offence that tallied just 80 goals in 24 games last year en route to a last-place finish in their seven-team league … the BCIHL includes teams from Eastern Washington University, UVic, SFU, Trinity Western University, Thompson Rivers University and Okanagan College …